Wednesday, June 1, 2011

A Few Announcements...


First of all I should apologise to RacingUK for uploading that last video of Frankel. Oops it won't happen again :)

I've been on a crazy journey the last few months and it feels like I've been living in a cave, that just happens to be my bedroom. I swear my skin melts when I step foot outside in the sunshine as my body thinks what the hell is this place! I've even grown a caveman beard to fit into this new lifestyle of mine haha.

STJ has taken over my life somewhat recently, but it's been a very humbling experience and I've learnt a lot about myself in this short process so far. I started this whole venture to ultimately challenge myself and I was looking for some direction to follow and work towards. But what has come as a pleasant surprise to me, is the overwhelming sense of positivity around the community at STJ. It's very much brought me back to why I got into trading in the first place, which was a way to have freedom in my life and be in control of what I do and when.

I truly believe that being positive changes everything! You stop thinking 'I can't do it' and you begin to think 'how can I do it'. If your brain is silenced at the first step of asking, how are you ever going to find any answers? Positivity is a way of thinking that manifests from people around you, and what is great is that I've noticed this happens even online! The community has turned into a place for people to not only speak about trading, but also a place to speak about their goals and aspirations in life in general. I've spoken before about trying to find something else that will push you through the oncoming barriers in this game, rather than the obvious 'I want to make loads of cash'. The search for freedom? The search for a change of lifestyle? The search to simply challenge yourself? Whatever it might be, you need you find your own drive that will help you find success in this game.


STJ Live

I have so much planned over the next few months and I'm very pleased to announce the launch of STJ Live! What the hell? I hear you ask. Let me explain...

STJ Live is 3 month video journal I'll be recording every few days. I'll document my thoughts and feelings on the markets, and talk about life in general so people can get a real insight into the life of a full-time sports trader.

This will start on the 1st June and end on the 31st August, and this is a completely FREE invitation into my life for 3 months!

I'll also be recording every race I trade over this period starting with a £700 bank. My members have asked me for some full days trading videos, so I thought I would start from scratch and show them how to start from a realistic trading bank. Trading race after race, and explaining exactly what I'm thinking throughout.

So if you want to be a part of this unique experience for FREE! And get a chance to receive loads more juicy trading content over the next few months. All you have to do is join my free members area on my site to gain access.

More details are here:

FREE trading content - Join now!

See you on the inside! It should be fun!

Rgds

Jack

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Frankel WOW!


The summer is really hotting up now after a blisteringly warm April and witnessing that performance shown by Frankel in the 2000 Guineas. I say 'that' performance because it was truly something special! He simply destroyed the field making Group 1 horses look like ponies. Absolute madness and I still get a chill down my spine when I watch it back. The sport needed a superstar flat horse and ohh yes he's arrived!

I've recorded the race and just uploaded it to YouTube. So if you didn't get chance to view this you are in for a treat trust me. Click on the Youtube HD button, go full screen, crank up the volume and enjoy!

I think my unplanned commentary on the mic sums it up pretty much haha-




Today was the start of the Chester meeting and it was a decent days trading. I think the markets are perfectly suited to swing trades at the moment, so if you are patient enough to pick your opportunities wisely then there are some fantastic moves to be caught. These graphs below are becoming common place in many races, and I have advised my members at STJ to be very cautious looking to scalp these markets of late. Pin point a trend, follow your instincts and swing baby swing!





Overturn was another impressive front running performer today, although not quite in the same style as Frankel it has to be said. It was still a gutsy victory and was great to see the trainer Donald McCain win a Grand National and a Chester Cup back to back. I'm sure that doesn't happen very often!


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Grand National Meeting




It's been another fantastic week of top quality horse racing at Aintree. Climaxing at the notorious Grand National on Saturday. Somehow I picked the winner Ballabriggs this year, but was far from confident so I just had a cheeky fiver e/w fun bet. He jumped like a stag and was always looking in contention from the get go.

With all the glam and prestige surrounding the Grand National, we do witness many horses getting badly hurt or even die from this race every year. I think there was 2 that had to be put down this year. So it does beg the question whether to make the course a bit safer for future Grand Nationals. I hate to see these animals land so horribly after a bad jump, but I can't see whoever is in charge rushing to change things any time soon.

I found the Grand National itself very difficult to trade too be honest although I didn't expect much from the race before hand anyways. The high prices/ lack of movement and equal spread of liquidity across countless horses doesn't really suit my trading style too be honest. I have evolved into more of a swing trader over the years and the mad moving markets are more my cuppa tea.

I had a good festival, but didn't reach the heights I achieved at Cheltenham. The first few days went really well but I struggled a little bit on the Saturday to make the most out of a few opportunities. I might look into trading on Betdaq for bigger meetings in the future, as the volumes are apparently a bit more manageable for trading. A healthy amount of liquidity, but not too much sounds quite appealing to me.

It does come down to expectation as well I believe, and I do tend to raise the bar a bit for bigger meetings. Pushing myself can be a positive thing most of the time, but on the Saturday I tried a bit too hard to create opportunities which simply weren't there to take. The only way you can really get on a roll with trading race after race, is to let the opportunities come to you and pounce on them when they arise. When you increase your stakes more profits can be achieved, but this also creates more risk. A double edged sword in which the smallest mistakes can be the difference between a big profit on a race or a break even.

All in all I've had a good week, but I am naturally quite competitive so I'm quite hard on myself at times. I try to never get complacent as this can be very dangerous for your mindset, and I'm constantly looking to work on the holes in my game which I can improve on. The biggest lesson I have taken out of this years Aintree meeting, is to focus on my trading strengths and work to them. I'm going to try and Identify which races I can be really aggressive in, and know which races I need to treat with caution. This should stop me being too aggressive in markets that hold a little too much risk.

My best result over the 3 days came on the 7th:

 
I'm not sure what happened in the race that made Baby Run hit 8.4! If a bot made a mistake or a combination of people needed to close their positions out? But I couldn't understand it when I looked at the graph after the race. I thought Baby Run was travelling really well throughout so it makes me think it was more of a mistake with a bit of a mad spike. I'm quite tempted to have a go with small stakes in running again when I see things like this. Problem is it takes a different kind of mindset to succeed in running than it does pre - race. I have tried doing both in conjunction with each other in the past at a trading cafe, but I found it quite difficult to go from one mindset to the other. You have no time to even breathe between each race, but saying that I might give it a go again out of interest. Maybe adopt a slightly less active approach in running and stick very small stakes. I'll mention it again if I decide to give it a go.

Cheerio

Thursday, April 7, 2011

10k @ 1.01 please



A friend of mine has just moved out to Sweden and he was flying through Amsterdam to get there. So I thought it would be rude not to go with him for a few days to send him off in style hehe. I forgot how mad that weird and wonderfully place is! I vaguely remember the last time I was in the Dam which was back when I was 18. I went there with 8 of my mates and well, as you can imagine fun times! This time was more a few days of chill and relaxing. It's a beautiful place to visit if anyone is thinking of having a few days away.


Good Times A Rolling

After a big meeting like Cheltenham, I always remind myself to take things a little bit steady in the markets until I get my breath back. It can be easy to get carried away when starting to trade the markets again just like you were doing in Cheltz. So after a chilled out weekend I thought I better get back to it and didn't expect much from the day knowing Aintree is on 2moro. But I thought today was damn tasty too be honest. It felt like the start of good times to come, with the sun shining outside and some really nice moves to get stuck into in the markets. It brought me back to memories in Madrid and how much better I feel when the sun decides to say hello.


Ouch!

I noticed 1.01 getting turned over today in running at Nottingham. Amazing how often this actually happens and this time a combination of people got stung for a cool 10k! Who would back 1.01? God only knows =/



Turnover

I've never been a massive stats man or one that cares too much about how much my turnover is on the day. Either how much percentage of my bank I am using or how much my ROI is. These things just seem a little tedious to me but if that's your thing then knock yourself out. Of course I pay close attention to my staking plan and controlling how I trade in a race, but I'm referring to analysing results after the day. I mean maybe I could improve some of my results after spending hours analysing what I'm doing, but too be honest my take on it is life's too short and I'd rather have a beer with my mates thanks. That said I did notice something quite interesting on 2 races today. I basically reached nearly identical totals on both races, but the total turnover on each was very different. It all comes down to what style you decide to adopt in a particular race which determines the amount of turnover that is achieved. Different markets can also offer you more opportunities to turnover your bank at a faster rate, but it also sometimes comes down to simply making a conscious decision to trade one way or another.

The race below shows me consciously deciding to take a long term view on the market. Opening a few positions up and looking for the big move going in one direction. Instead of sneaking in and out and turning over more of my bank. The point I'm trying to make here, is I'd recommend spending more time on improving your styles/techniques and strategies, more than worrying too much about small differences in percentage turnover on your day. Nice profits can still be achieved on relitively low turnover totals. This total below was only £1250 matched on the back side and £1350 matched on the lay side. 



In comparison the race below was an example where I still was looking for the swings, but I made a conscious decision to try and turn over more of my bank. The main reason for this was as I wasn't as sure of the overall direction of the market compared to the previous example. So in this case I was cutting out for smaller profits, turning over more of my bank, but as you can see the profit is nearly identical. This time £6147 was matched on the back side and £6244 on the lay side. That might sound like a lot of money, but I can easily turnover a lot more than that in a race but only when the market allows me to. Funny thing is though that doesn't necessarily mean x amount more profit. At the end of the day the overall profit is more important than your actual turnover.

On swing markets you can afford to look for more of a longer term move, and be able to hang onto your position longer with the aim to look for more profits. This will inevitably mean you won't turnover much of your bank, but who really cares :) In scalping markets you need to turnover a large amount due to the fact you are only looking for 1/2 tick profits. But also you will scratch a lot which boosts the total up even more.






Anyways Aintree starts 2moro and I'm really looking forward to the Grand National Meeting. I'll tell you right now....as far as a pure horse racing spectacle, you won't see a better horse racing card on any day of the year than what is on show 2moro. A lot of the big boys who ran at Cheltenham are lined up and I'm pretty excited!

Ohh and I've just noticed Woolcombe Folly is 8.0 on BF in the 16:15 Aintree. He's high in the weights but I'm having some of that fo sho. Seems massive price! He was unlucky in the Champion Chase at Cheltz after being bashed about in running and I think should destroy this field even at top weight. I'll be having a go on a few multiples as well 2moro which have been proving a nice little earner recently. Good luck all!

Fingers crossed the markets will be just as mouth watering!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Cheltenham - Day Four




I took a few days off after trading this weeks Cheltenham festival. It was a great week but it was definitely energy sapping that's for sure. I've been catching up with a few things at STJ over the weekend and thought I should make a post about the last day before all is forgotten.

Cheltenham is without a doubt the highlight of the horse racing calendar and the final day didn't disappoint. The gold cup was a truly fantastic race that saw Long Run, the baby at only 6 years old smash the old boys of Denman and Kauto Star.

Kauto travelled like a dream in the race and looked back to his best, but he's lost that turn of foot over the last 2 hurdles where he couldn't hold off the cavalry. Denman is still a beast of a horse and will still give any horse a close race even at the tender age of 11. Denman's raced fewer times than the classy Kauto, so there's still a few more very top races left in the tank. I won't be giving up on one of my favourite horses just yet. I must say it's a pleasure to see the old guns back to somewhere near there best and my hat goes off to Mr Nicholls for keeping these wonderful animals on show year after year.

The Gold Cup went to a very deserving victor though and too be honest Long Run could be the best chaser we have ever seen. Due to how long he's still got left in racing and what he has achieved already. I think he's still improving and didn't even jump brilliantly half way round the course. Alarmingly to every other chaser around, this horse could be winning many more group 1 races with ease. He's got an engine like no other and I can't see any other horse other than the upcoming Diamond Harry challenging his unstoppable status. Time will tell :)

I didn't build up a great trading total on the Gold Cup race, so I thought I would stick with Long Run. But I was worried with Imperial Commander returning back to full fitness so kept my money on those two.


I did a few multiple bets on the Friday and I nearly hit another great £400+ return off a £10 stake.

I did a £2.5 Win Trixie with Long Run, Bob's Worth and Baby Run.

It was a bit painful to see Baby Run fall at the last when looking a clear winner. But I had to take that one the chin.

My best race came from the 14:40. It was one of my fancies on the day - Bob's Worth. I traded well pre race and too be honest I couldn't resist leaving all my profit on him this time. I was in a giddy mood and felt like trying to hit the jackpot. Luckily he ran like a stag and my profit looked safe from half way round the course. Well as safe as you can be when your profits on one horse :p 



In the Conditional Jockeys Hurdle I witnessed an unbelievable ride and performance by Sir Des Champs. Wow I think the horse was around 25 lengths down and somehow got up on the line to sneak the win. I was in shock watching that race and there always seems to be one ride like that every festival that blows me away. It looked like there were some burnt fingers too when I looked at the Betfair graph. It hit 75.0 and there was half decent money matched all the way down the ladder. OUCH!


All in all I was very happy with the week and really enjoyed the racing as usual. But it's back to normality now for a little while as we experience some very average meetings again. Saying that Cheltenham does tend to kick off the more liquid meetings coming up soon. So all good in the hood! I hope everyone who tackled Cheltenham learnt a lot about the more liquid markets and hopefully will know what to expect in the bigger meetings coming up in the summer.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Cheltenham - Day Two & Three


Day Two


After a nice start to my fun bets on the first day, my e/w shots didn't perform yesterday unfortunately. No excuses really, it was just an impressive clean sweep for the Irish who dominated all of the races.

I started the trading day steady enough, but unlike the first day I got quite stuck into the other meetings on the card on Wednesday. Which I found to be more profitable overall than the races that I traded at Cheltenham. These races lacked the huge liquidity, but this actually helped me out too be honest. It was easier to get filled and there were some huge over reactions in some markets that I caught some tasty swings on.




I was struggling to get filled at Cheltenham and it was like slow motion trading for a while. This played on my mind a bit which I will talk about soon. The reason for the poor fill rate is because the markets are getting dramatically manipulated and its quite astonishing the effect this is having on everything. There's actually more money sat in the queues than any other Cheltenham I can remember, but actually less overall turnover and fill rate. This observation is almost a contradiction in itself as more money should mean more activity in general. Let me explain further:

When a market gets aggressively manipulated, the money that is sat around in the queues is a false representation of the genuine/or even traders money in that market. The huge amounts you see are often nothing more than market domination by one, or several bots controlling things for their own benefit. As crazy as that sounds! A money machine that seems to be created to trap people into taking losses. They do this by using large orders on several runners to control the market book and push it in their favour. I'm sorry if I lost you there =/

However it's not like they always get away with this kind of activity. What I think happens is they win big but also lose big too. They surely must be winning more than they are losing though as they are still around with their apparently limitless Betfair bank. When they can't hold a market in position, they need to fight their own orders which results in them chasing their losses. So opportunities are here to be had when this occurs but this only happens when there is enough resistance battling against this manipulation. A game and cat and mouse it would seem.

The problem this caused me on Wednesday was I lost my patience, and got too aggressive in the markets. This led me to struggle to keep my profit in tact in the later Cheltenham races. It felt like a roller coaster for an hour or so and was hard on the mind. I basically let my emotions control my actions too much and if you let your head go, everything else will spiral out on control. Luckily I noticed what I was doing and finished alright on the day considering my yo yo hour.


Day Three




The fill rate was still a bit poor at Cheltz but the big thing really was controlling my green zone better when I was already in profit. I wasn't too happy with my performance at Cheltz yesterday, so I decided to adopt a slightly different approach. I toned down my aggressiveness and kept a close eye on not over staking in markets which were slow at taking orders. This helped me reach a more consistent day, even though the profits on the races weren't as big. I felt more in control of my game plan and emotions today, and these two go hand in hand. It's a constant mind battle this trading lark and you have you keep a close eye on how you are behaving in certain scenarios. If you choose to ignore your emotions, the market becomes your worst nightmare and you lose all rational thoughts on what you should be doing. I made sure from the get go that my mind was focused and my emotions were calm and collected. 

The big one today produced a cracking race- The 15:20 World Hurdle. Big Bucks was clear favourite at just above 2.0 with around 20 mins to go and it looked like a gamble all day long. I worked myself into a nice position getting a few orders matched about 2.02. I was sure a gamble looked obvious and I was waiting for it to develop. Problem was the manipulation got hold of it and after a small steam to around the 1.96 mark, it was eventually pushed out above 2.0 near the off. An annoying race in which I turned a £150 all into a £30 all as I thought the market was going to come down for ages! I was quite amazed it went back above 2.0 too be honest but hey, not to be. This was a great example of when the manipulation wins the battle. 

Big Bucks again proved to us just how good he was by beating the up and coming superstar Grand Crus. The grey will be winning a World Hurdle soon I'm sure, but the young pretender wasn't going to overturn the champ just yet. Big Bucks found another turn of foot when Grand Crus came up against him at the last, and wow I still think he's got more in that endless tank of his. Pure class that horse and a joy to watch!

So we have one more day at Cheltz ladies and gents and I'm sure the fill rate will be a bit better tomorrow (lets hope) I've learnt a few lessons over the past few days, but also experienced many a smile :)

Let's see if I can get anything out of my last cheeky multiple on Gold Cup day:

13:30 - Sam Winner
14:05 - Alarazi
14:40 - Bobs Worth
15:20 - Long Run
16:00 - Baby Run

Enjoy tomorrow all, and good luck if you are trading the last day at Cheltz.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Cheltenham - Day One



It's been a nervous lead up to the festival this year with Betfair's unexpected recent down time, so it was a pleasant surprise to receive an apology from them in response to my last blog post. Haha I doubt it was anything to do with my rambles on the subject but it was certainly coincidental anyways. Link here:

https://promotions.betfair.com/explanation

Plus they are also running the first decent promotion that I can remember that is really beneficial to us traders over Cheltz-

"We have listened to your feedback and, in recognition of your loyalty, we would like to offer you a 100% commission refund on a selection of this week's top markets."

That's more like it Betfair! Maybe my rambles weren't a waste of time after all ;)


£7 Boomer!

I always have a few cheeky bets over the Cheltz week and I landed a fantastic e/w multiple today.

Selections:

13:30 - Sprinter Sacre
14:05 - Captain Chris
14:40 - Bensalem
15:20 - Peddler's Cross
17:15 - Quantativeeasing

My stakes were - 

50p E/W cross 4 folds.
£1 E/W acc. 
Total - £7

2 won and the rest placed so the place part of the bet totaled an absolute gem of £275.32. Woooop!


SettledRef IdPlacedDescriptionAvg. OddsStakeStatusDR
(£)
CR
(£)
Balance
(£)
2011-03-15
17:29
213282522011-03-15
17:29

Transfer from Multiples, Multiples Bet Id 21328252
---275.32

This finished off a great start to the festival and I'll add my selections below for tomorrow. Let's see if I can continue the good fortune. Follow me in at your own peril though I must add.

I don't fancy as many on the card tomorrow, but I think these 3 have a great chance of placing and are all priced around the 8/1 mark.

14:40 - Aiteen Thirtythree
15:20 - Woolcombe Folly
17:15 - Raise The Beat

Bensalem Beauty!

It took me about an hour to find a groove in the markets today, but I did expect that too be honest. Nothing compares to Cheltenham and we have been so used to trading very average meetings over the past few months. The first day is always a bit of a warm up really, so If you found things hard going today just stay positive as you will gradually feel more comfortable playing in these markets as the week progresses.

The high odds on these big events are quite hard to try and work yourself into a nice position. For a few reasons - They often don't move much, the price takes up a lot of liability of your bank to be sat around in queues, and also orders can take a while to get matched. So patience is key really in these, and I would recommend you sit in a few queue positions and keep an eye on if the market feels solid. Then start to become active scalping around the available when things pick up a bit and the prices are staying within an obvious range. Also don't be scared to join the back of a big order if the market is very stable, ie. 10k. When the fill rate is good, you can still get some nice scalps away even behind big money.

You can still look out for market moves on runners though which have blatant public interest on. But I would say you have to take a more of a long term view on these if you are looking to ride a swing, due to the high amount of liquidity on both sides of the book. If there's momentum behind it, you can get a nice swing out of being prepared to wait in an open position.

My best result today came in the 14:40 Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase. I have really fancied Bensalem all week and if the horse didn't fall last time round at the festival, it could/should have easily won that race a year ago. So the way I viewed it was this was an overpriced selection and the market didn't properly take this into consideration. Without a win at Cheltenham, the horse was not in the public eye like many other runners on the day. It felt like 'the forgotten horse' as it were, so that 6/1 or 5/1 available @ many bookies easily could have been 3/1 if Bensalem didn't fall last year. Massive value I thought and I couldn't resist having a win single on the little beauty too.

Trading pre race, I built up a nice hedge amount of around £90 all, but I decided to try and maximise my profit by going in play with the full amount riding on him. I ended up backing a few runners as well in the race for small stakes that looked strong to cover all angles, but made sure I kept most of the profit on Bensalem. Unfortunately I couldn't hedge up for small stakes on the outsider 'The Rainbow Hunter'. Which left me with too much profit on that runner. Oops but no complaints I was very chuffed with the final result:



I will look to adopt this technique on a few other runners I fancy this week. However this approach is backing up my own opinion that certain horses will travel well in that race, if not win it. So I'll only do this on horses I think have a really good chance.


STJ Cheltenham Offer

Better late than never hey!

I've decided to run a Sports Trading Journey Cheltenham offer that will be available from the 16th - 21st March.

If you are interested in learning how to trade from either the very beginning/ or alternatively you are a trader searching for new angles and techniques to implement into your own game, please visit the link below for more details.


 10% Off 'STJ Six Month Journey' Course!
Only available if you choose the 'pay up front' option.

Was - £199
Now - £179

for more info visit:

I'm still buzzing after today but times a ticking I must try and sleep........bring on tomorrow!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Betfair Crash! (Again)



With the Cheltenham festival just around the corner, what's the first thing on our minds right now? The excitement of seeing the greatest show on turf? The huge boost in liquidity in the markets? The sound of the loudest roar in the racing calendar? Unfortunately not.....

It's yet again the thought of Betfair's instability, and terrible service that is beyond a joke. Another Saturday arrives and another crash occurs! I've lost all faith in the company and there is simply no excuses anymore in my opinion.

It's all very well they say they have just undergone 'the largest infrastructure project in it's history' in Ireland and are claiming they are up there with the giants of the IT industry. With the likes of Google, Ebay, and Amazon. But in my eyes, Betfair are a country mile off achieving anyway near the amount respect and great praise these other giants are rewarded with. If Betfair think they should be even mentioned in the same sentence as these giants, they have a lot of work to do! The first step should be the most obvious - provide a service to customers that is stable and robust. Simples! If you cannot achieve this on a regular basis, what the hell are you doing in the IT industry. Second step I've mentioned before, is listen to your customers and make them feel like you want them as your customer. Not in the scenario right now which is a classic case of feeling the need to use your exchange due to your monopoly domination.

With the explosion of social media over the past few years, we are in constant communication with each other and the power of the consumer is really apparent. The Internet has turned into a very open playing field in terms of letting other consumers know what's really going on. Anyone can post up opinions about products/services/websites, so there really is no hiding place when it comes to corporate bull$^i! anymore. I think Betfair is treading on thin ice right now and they seem to be betting on keeping 'secrets' from people, instead of being willing to be 'open' on these issues. My opinion is, be transparent in your business and people will respect you for it.

Betfair is leaving us in the dark too often and this will only ruin them if they choose to continue operating like this in the future. I hope they open their eyes up and see how much of an impact this is having on their companies reputation.

The main problem for us is that Betfair is a monopoly, where so much of the liquidity is generated on their exchange. As a trader it's not easy to pack up our bags and move elsewhere unfortunately. So there reputation might be going South, but they know we will be coming back. Although I think you all should be keeping a keen eye on the Betfair share price, coz it's only going in one way.

Other competitors could be doing a lot more to take advantage of this situation. You have to do something more to grab our attention and make us think about alternatives to Betfair, come on how many chances do you want to land on your plate without doing something dramatic to make us move? People are crying out for change but we need persuading :)

The real question right now - Is Betfair going to be stable enough over the Cheltenham festival?

It's a big worry and all we can really do is hope they sort their Shi! out. Going by the recent shenanigans this year, I've never been so scared to trade in volumes on such a great event.

I hope nobody got caught out badly by todays drop out.

Rgds

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What A Difference A Day Makes




Howdy,

I noticed a few comments on the STJ forum regarding people struggling yesterday in the markets, yet finding today a breath of fresh air. So I thought I'd make a post about why this was the case to try and help other people understand the situation too. I'm comparing the 2nd and 3rd March. Did you see a difference in the market conditions? Did you do well one day and struggle the next?

Please leave comments below if you traded both these days and found this to be the case.

'What a difference a day makes' Let me explain..............


2nd March

First I want to mention there is a huge diverse range of different meetings throughout the trading calendar and particular meetings attract more interest than others. It's that simple. By 'interest' I mean more money flows into these meetings and in turn generates more liquidity. It's common sense that if there is more 'interesting' meetings for the punters and the public in general on that day, more money arrives in the markets and this has a massive knock on effect for us traders.

So on the 2nd March the meetings on the card were quite weak as a whole.

Bangor
Downpatrick
Folkestone
Kempton
Wolverhampton

When we have cards like this on a day, we can't expect to see huge amounts of real genuine money being attracted to these meetings. So what happened yesterday was a clear case of traders and manipulators battling against each other for prices and queue positions. So spikes were common place in the market. There was lots of aggressive and erratic behaviour and this basically means patterns were harder to spot and follow. I think yesterday in particular had a lot of races where everyone was half guessing the market, and it was obvious big manipulation was dominating the market. The 'flow' was very weak so instead of money getting turned over at steady intervals, it was very quiet for minutes on end without much happening. Then suddenly someone hit a price and the whole market was thrown out of sync and the chase and battle continued. While you were sat around in queue positions, the market struggled to find an equilibrium which in turn made getting in and out of a situation with little risk hard going.


3rd March

Today was a different ball game and the meetings on the card were average.

Ludlow
Southwell
Tauton
Wolverhampton
Meydan

When there is three meetings on a day (which is quite regular) we want to see at least two of those three in the day that aren't All Weather or Irish meetings. Why? Coz these meetings should attract more money to them as mentioned earlier.

Based on the meetings lined up on the card, the markets should have attracted more money in general and this was definitely the case. In fact it felt more like an average card in the summer too be honest, where there was a really good amount of overall turnover matched, with some real genuine action in the markets. Of course there was still erratic moves at times, but this behaviour happens on most days too be honest.

The huge difference was the amount of 'flow' in the market and to spot this look at how much money is spiking through the market, and how regular this is happening. So when more money is getting turned over on both sides plus with a good amount of flow in that market, you can get in and out of a position faster and with less risk. 

Also due to the fact the markets get manipulated so much nowadays, I saw an obvious battle against the big manipulation where this automation struggled sometimes to keep up with the overall activity in the market. Again the knock on affect of this was long term trends and also highs/lows of the markets were reacting quite well to momentum moves and bounce backs in a price.

Ok ramble over hope that was some help to a few people.

Monday, February 28, 2011

London Olympics 2012

I returned back from London last week after a small break away. It got me thinking about the Olympics in 2012 and tickets go on sale in March 2011, I've got to go!

I'll be trying some trading on the event too which I'm sure will be an interesting learning curve, but one I'll be keen on doing some research on before I get stuck in. I wouldn't know where to start too be honest, however money will be flying into the markets so I think I'll be keeping a bit of an eye on athletics over the coming year or so.

But seriously who the £u^# did the art work and whole design concept for the games? I don't mean the structures for the games themselves, they look mighty impressive....





I'm referring to the logo and the mascots.Yikes they are sooo bad they are actually hilarious!



I'm beginning to think they let a child take over this part of the procedure, or someone who's been in the woods picking too many magic mushrooms. To explain my point further watch this video:


Saturday, February 12, 2011

STJ - New Monthly Subscription

"This one I have to pay money for, but she worth it! Wa wa wee wa!"


New Computer


Wa wa wee wa! My new computer arrived a few days ago and wow it feels good to have a reliable machine again after my recent shenanigans! It works like a dream however I did go a little bit overkill on the specs:

  • • AMD Phenom II X6 1055T
  • • ATI HD 5770 1GB Graphic Card
  • • 4GB DDR3 1333MHz Memory
  • • 1TB SATA-II Hard Drive
  • • 64 GB Corsair Nova Series P64 Gaming MLC Solid State Disk
  • • Asus M4N68T-M V2 AM3 MB
  • • Thermaltake V3 Black Case
  • • Asetek 510LC Liquid Cooling


It will last me years so it's a good investment, and I've gotta say the company I bought it from were great! Very helpful customer service, safely wrapped and tidy cables inside the computer. Not to mention the cheap prices on a custom build gaming machine and an excellent build quality overall. So if anyone is looking to buy a new pc I'd recommend this site:

http://www.cyberpowersystem.co.uk/



STJ


I've just added a new payment option to Sports Trading Journey. Available to any budding trader wishing to learn sports trading from the very basics, and also current traders wanting to reach new heights and improve their styles and techniques.

Now available on the site is a monthly subscription for the journey. 6 easy installments are made via Paypal on a monthly basis. It's that simple!

You will still receive all the great content available to you just like the pay up front option, the only difference being the payments are made easier.

The community at STJ is growing fast and there's already a few members saying some great things about the journey, even though they are only 9 weeks in. Read about some early testimonials here on the Geeks Toy forum:

Geeks Toy Forum
 
For more info visit STJ
 
Cheers

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The Human vs The Machine



Load this market up now for the latest odds!

http://www.betfair.com/humanvsmachine   -  Place your bets now!



The last two weeks I have:

1. Understood the workings of a computer more than I probably ever wanted to.
2. Nearly witnessed a computer flying out of my window.

SUMMARY:

Alright so I bought my bro's computer off him a few weeks ago at a bargain price (after assuring me it was a stable machine even though he didn't used it for 6 months) and I was more than happy with my purchase. That's until the dreaded freezing came into play, with strange error messages appearing left/right & centre. The battle begins....

ROUND 1:

A few posts back I mentioned memory/RAM testing, and I found a faulty stick in my machine so I thought bingo! just buy some new RAM and problem solved. Think again...although I solved the issue of the dodgy RAM, some other issues were still apparent. Ha it's not like I waited for a week to receive my new RAM from Germany to solve the problems. Ohhhh no. So.....after reinstalling windows and noticing the errors were still haunting me, I narrowed it down to being another hardware issue.

ROUND 2:

So I ripped the thing to pieces (yes this was satisfying) and cleaned the mofo head to toe. I rebooted the mofo up and did some more research online. I found out you could manually change all the settings in the BIOS to configure your hardware to run at the optimum rates required of your motherboard. So I tinkered around with getting the perfect volts/bus speed/ vram frequency and all that crazy technical stuff to see if the default settings were causing the mofo to crash.

NOTE: I smelt victory in the air and I felt confident I was going to have the last laugh.


ROUND 3:

After several reboots and tweaking I honestly thought I had won the battle! It worked with no crashes for several hours and I even had a sly giggle of satisfaction. Shame on me! A few hours later the mofo died on me again. Hmmmmm.


ROUND 4:

After finally getting the thing up and running again I got on the tinterweb and did some more research. I found a program that tests the temperature of your processor. I downloaded it and found it was running at around 65 degrees when it was idle, and it shouldn't even be going to 70 when its running at full speed on an intensive stress test. Wahoo that's it of course! The mofo is just struggling and needs to chill out a little. Literally. Then BOOM the mofo died on me again.

NOTE: By this point you might be wondering, why the F%^k are you torturing yourself Jack? and the answer is much like the game of trading.....this was a battle I wasn't willing to give in to.


ROUND 5:

My bro had given me this strange compound paste which you spread on the surface of your fan which sits on  your motherboard, this helps to reduce the overall heat that is getting trapped (apparently) OK jobs a good en, so I got started on the surgical procedure right away. A short time (ish) later I booted up again and did the temperature test. Unbelievably I had knocked around 15 degrees off my last test. Shocked and somewhat chuffed I was 100% confident I had finally solved the mystery...an overheating processor. I did a little dance, clicked my heels in joy and thought I was going to start a whole new career as a computer technician. OK maybe not but the battle had been won.......so I thought.

2 hours later it crashed again and that was where I nearly witnessed a flying computer from my window. But after a reality check I held up my white flag and bowed my head in shame to the victorious machine. I narrowed it down to a faulty processor, video card or hard drive but I really couldn't be assed with it anymore.

RESULT: Winner - The Machine by TKO

The taste in my mouth was bitter, as not only had I wasted hours on this mofo but I was forced to give in to the machine. The bastard won and I couldn't even smash the thing up to cheat in victory as my bro wanted it back to start his own battle with it. Don't ask me why ha. It was an interesting learning curve and I hope an enjoying post to read, but not one I will be looking to repeat anytime soon.

So the moral of the story - only buy a second hand computer if you can bet your life on it working perfectly. Let this be a lesson, it's not worth the battle I can assure you.

But today brings a new day and ooooooooh yeh a new computer! It should be arriving before 10am and it's the computer in the pic at the top. It's a beast which is custom built and touch wood 'should' last me years. So here's to a computer that actually works properly. Well I hope :)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Betfair Shambles




Another Saturday arrives and another Saturday we have a Betfair crash!

When is this recurring event of pure incompetence going to stop I ask? Never is the answer...

Betfair's instability has been a formality for years too be honest and this is no breaking news. But does this mean we just say ohh OK no problem, a company worth over 1 Billion is allowed to be unstable and have terms written in to their conditions to cover their backs when the %£$ hits the fan?

I don't have a problem with the scheduled down times that Betfair announce, as you simply stay clear of the markets for a day or so afterwards while they pull their finger out. But an outage out of the blue when you least expect it is a shambles. It's all a bit of a joke and there should be better rules and regs lined up to cover the customer if and more appropriately 'when' Betfair crashes again. Not just rules in small print to just cover Betfair, the principle is all wrong. Betfair are forcing us to play the all money on red situation when 'they' as a business can't keep the hamsters in their wheels running quick enough.

Lets be honest things aren't going to change for the following reasons:

  1. Betfair can't take liability on all bets if a crash occurs.
  2. Betfair are doing what is in their best interests and not the customers.
  3. Anything can happen and systems can fail and become unstable.

But this is what I believe Betfair should implement: (in my dreams)

  1. Build a bomb proof backup, (or 2) and have a carbon copy of the entire system with servers ready to go jump into action after an outage. This backup has to be running constantly and needs as much maintenance as the primary system. When a crash occurs it might be down a few seconds until the backup kicks into gear...but no worries. Money well spent in my eyes
  2. Provide a better overall customer experience and listen to what people have to say.....at least send an apology email out to people for random outages and downtime. How hard is that?? Even go to the effort in offering people who are out of pocket a promotion... a free bet, a discounted voucher to the races, just anything to make the customer feel like their not been taken for a ride on a roller coaster with no harness.
  3. When the downtime happens, offer everyone a chance to use the exchange at a discounted commission rate. Instead of 5%, offer a 2% day deal a few days later to make people smile and not frown. Give a little back to the people who are filling your pockets. It's really not that difficult.

There is too much taking and not enough giving back as fair as I'm concerned and its such a shame. I have listed just a few ways to really improve on things and take the exchange forward, and these are only ideas off the top of my head. However the honest truth is probably much of the same I'm sure...

So I'm guessing Betfair's next genius idea to build a better exchange is to....increase the premium charge rates. Ohhh you clever people you tut tut tut.

Post some comments below guys of your thoughts on how Betfair could improve. Cheers and cheerio :)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Memory Test



Happy New Year to all....here's to a prosperous 2011!

The launch of SportsTradingJourney has gone really well and there's many exciting things happening over the next year. Many thanks to the community of people who have become active members of the site. All the best!



January is known for being one of the poorest months in the horse trading calendar due to the lower quality of racing on offer. Added to the fact the colder weather is often still apparent around the country which inevitably has an affect on how the markets operate.

However over the weekend on Saturday, we had the rescheduled Boxing Day meeting at Kempton reinstated which is always a great day for racing and the markets alike. It was a bonus having such a high quality meeting on show this time of year.

The two big group 1's were great races and the liquidity on the day I thought was pretty good overall. Binocular looked very impressive in the 2m hurdle and the Champion Hurdle @ Cheltenham is hotting up to be a fantastic race with some up and coming prospects looking to take on Binocular the champ. Kauto Star in the other big group 1 race - The King George didn't ever seem to ever travel in the race and looked to be struggling for pace. Long Run wasn't hanging around though and he successfully dethroned Kauto putting in a very solid round of jumping. He he looks a star for the future and has loads of years left in him. Yet again we have another exciting Gold Cup lined up this year @ Cheltenham, but I think people won't be just focusing on the top 2 big guns at the Nicholls yard this time!

I really enjoyed the days trading and felt like I got into the zone. But unfortunately I had to stop just before the Kauto Star race was kicking off due to bad memory. With this I actually mean bad/corrupt memory in my computer, also known as the RAM.

I have recently bought a new computer off my bro and its super quick, but I noticed a few programs were randomely doing a windows crash on me every so often. It only happened now and again so I didn't think much of it until it happened again whilst I was trading on Saturday. Luckily I only had a few positions in the queues early on the Kauto Star market and I easily cancelled all my bets on Betfair after the crash. So no harm done......But I knew I had to get to the bottom of the issue as a reliable computer is imperative to a traders success.

After a bit of research I found a bit of software called Memtest86. This tests if your RAM is performing how it should be doing and detects if theres any errors and issues. If the test shows up any problems then you need new RAM...its that simple. Dodgy RAM can do some weird things to your computer and this is the last thing you want as a trader. So if your computer is acting strange and closing down applications/software or not booting up windows for example..... do the following:

1. Rip this bit of software to a CD.
2. From the bios menu when your computer is booting up (hit delete to access it) click on the option that says boot at the tab at the top.
3. Select the primary boot drive to be from the CD.
4. Restart the computer.
5. Your computer will now run from the CD and automatically run the memory test for you.
6. Leave it a few hours and see if the program finds any errors.
7. After the test is completed reset the boot up menu to be from your hard drive not the CD.

If you have no errors then bingo your RAM is reliable and there must be something else wrong with your compujter. But if the test finds some errors then do something about it as soon as you can. Don't risk trading until you have it sorted as its simply not worth it.....Better safe than sorry and all that jazz :)

I'm currently waiting for my new RAM to arrive in the post.

Here's a p/l shot of the days trading leading up to the crash. An annoying end to a nice day but no complaints on the total.


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