Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Somewhere between...

the Eureka moment (stage 3) and Conscious Competence (stage 4) I landed. http://community.betfair.com/general_betting/go/thread/view/94082/23512666/the-5-stages-to-betfair-trading#flvWelcomeHeader

In today's fifth set between Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka was impossible to predict the market. Both players were on fire! Because the past results, the market was in favour of Djokovic. He was trading around 1.30 when the score was tied in fifth set (for example 2:2, 3:3 and so on). A good friend of mine wrote me, that Nole win for sure. You can put 1'000'000 Euro on him... well, I don't have this amount. So I decided not to do it. :-)

Seriously, it's a very good example about value. The game was that tight, but Djokovic was traded around 1.30, that's equal to a winning probability about almost 77%. For me Nole should be traded around 1.65 (60% probability). That's the concept, you are not seeking for winners (nobody has a crystal ball). You are searching for value and at this moment (or more or less during the whole match) was on the side of Wawrinka. I started to lay Djoko at 1.11. Later was an other opportunity at 1.02/1.03 after the first set was over. Take a look on there numbers, 1.02 equals a probability of 98%! It means that Djokovic will win 98 of 100 five set matches against Stan after a 1:0-lead. Of course the Swiss was not playing his best tennis at the beginning, but how you can go for 2% after one set?!

More or less the same happened with Ana Ivanovic and Tomas Berdych. After they were ahead 1:0 (Ana) and 2:0 (Berdych) the odds were imploding. Unfortunately I cutted my profit on Bouchard (I didn't trust her until the end) and lost the bet cause Ferrer was struggling after a strong start in the 4th set. He couldn't take profit from the changing momentum. I made the mistake not hedging the trade. It's a pity that I made it just at trades, which headed in the right direction.

Here we are at the point which is the most difficult for me. A lot of traders make the mistake, to let run bad trades and take profits of  the good bets. You have to do exactly the opposite. The redding strategy is not a mistery anymore for me . If a trade goes wrong, I leave it. There will be a lot of more opportunities. Greening is a lot more difficult. If you do it too frequently, your losses will be too big in comparison to your profits. If you never green the trades, you will lose money like me with Ferrer.

I tried to do a mix at Djoker's game. After 3th I decided to close my liability on Novak. In the worst case my profit would be 0. In the end, the hedging cost me some bucks. I am not sure if it was a good decicion because I sold value (explanation above). In the other hand you have to protect your bank, and I made my (value) profit in the beginning.

Now i have the same staking plans for NBA and tennis. First time in my life as a sportstrader I seriously feel that I (almost) reached stage 4. So it will take six months to run in autopilot. :-) I would happy with it. At the moment it's important to strenghen the dicipline, improve the strategies and develop the inplay trading skills.


  1. Hello Bruce Lay,

    First of all, well done on your progress. It is very interesting to read your post and see how you see the markets, as it gives others an insight into how to work out probability.

    I am also a member of sultan tennis academy and traded basketball before tennis, so its interesting to see your ideas. Tonight I think that Houston Rockets are way over valued and the price is too low plus, the San Antonio Spurs.

    Lets see how tonight plays out. I am not sure there will be any value in the women's semi finals but lets see how they go.

  2. Thanks a lot! Do you have a blog as well? I learned a lot of Sultan, about value, about accepting losses, about beeing patient. He gave me the tools to improve my trading. Now I am at a point where I see a real progress. It's too early to full time, but I am thinking about it in the near future (1-2 years).

    I adapted the main principles of Sultan (seeking value) to NBA and is working even a bit better for me at the moment as tennis. Today my main bets were laying San Antonio and Boston: http://www.wettforum.info/sportwetten/american-sports/156662-nba-21-01-31-01-2014-a.html

  3. Well done on last night's results. Another successful NBA night and it seems that it is more profitable then tennis for you.

    I don't have a blog yet as most of my time is split between bonus bagging, trading and until recently job searching. However, I would like to start a blog once I can get myself to a decent level of trading. Personally, I would only go full time if I was making 5 figures per month as that figure would half due to the betfair super premium charge. That might take me two, three or four years to achieve but hopefully sooner then later. From your postings, I think that you can get there much faster but no one knows how long it might take. Another considerations is the timings of the matches and work in the mornings when you live in Europe. I've got a friend in Singapore, who are 8 hours ahead of the UK and 7 hours ahead of Europe, so the matches happen at 7/8am till midday his time. He says he works 4 to 5 hours a day then has the rest of the day off and in the summertime he switches over to baseball or tennis. This is a luxury we don't have until we can make a good sum of money to start trading professionally; until then it won't be a good idea to go to work too tired?!

    Yes the Sultan strategies do work but need to be adapted to NBA. I use to back selections and sit there like a rabbit in the headlights when it went against me but thankfully I've changed my strategy before I had a heart attack. I laid Boston and Houston but missed out on Orlando as I was trying to multi task with the Li vs Bouchard match. In relation to the tennis, there was a small window to lay Li (1.06 at the lowest) and her price did go up to 1.22. The main challenge I find is choosing the correct entry point based on value. On the Orlando game you could literally lay anywhere from 1.5 down to 1.04 before they made their comeback. If you entered too high eg 1.4 then you have to red up but if you entered lower maybe you can stay in the trade longer. That is why I can understand why you exited the Orlando game because if they didn't come back then you have a large red.

    The games tonight don't look too enticing as Miami is only 1.13 to lay altho the denver vs portland game could be interesting. I don't think its worth it to stay up for 1 match though. Would you be able to add your email to your profile? We can then discuss match selection for NBA, as they say that two heads are better then one.

  4. Thanks a lot! Yes, NBA seems even a bit better for my trading style than tennis. It think is about the right and left part of the brain. If you are more intuative (right brain focused) tennis is the better choice, if you are looking more for mechanical trading (left brain focused) NBA seems more interesting. Beside I have more knowledge at NBA... is easier to know 30 teams instead of around 300 tennis players (top 150 WTA and ATP).

    Premium charge of betfair seems a problem for the professionals. I think is a luxury problem. If you are capable to make 5 digits a month you can live with this charge. Beside other enterprises (matchbook, betdaq) start to reduce the gap. At the moment I don't set any financial targets. I am only interested in the yield, because financial targets bring more pressure.

    I work 50% as normal employee, the wage is enough to live. Beside I will invest in stock exchange, should be bring another amount. Trading is for me just for the luxury. It's hard to imagine, that trading would be my single source of income... One day I probably quit my job as employee but I still will have the financial security of my financial fonds.

    Backing low at NBA is the same mistake like in tennis. The red figure will be huge if trade turns in wrong direction.

    Today I don't see any value at NBA. The odds of favourites are low... and that's correct in my opinion. Don't see a dog which could win or make a close game. Is a welcomed break for one night.

    My Email is: grandslamtrading@gmx.ch

  5. I think basketball is a great sport to trade. I agree that you can be more mechanical with the system and it is better for new traders then tennis. When the Sultan told me that you might need to know the top 200 players for men and women, I thought that you a lot and would take a long time to learn. You can learn 30 NBA teams much quicker as they play each other so often.

    If we ever got to the super premium charge then you would be a happy man. That means that you would have earnt 200k (250k but 50k goes to the 20% premium charge) but if you want to make it as a basketball trader then you would have to stick to betfair. At the mo, betdaq and match book don't offer enough liquidity however, by the time you got there in two year or so then this situation might have changed.

    I would never want sports trading to be a single income for me. It means that you live and die by the results and we all know that sport is unpredictable. I am researching options trading as that gives you flexibility which sports events don't in relation to timings. You can trade at the times that suit you whereas with basketball or tennis you have to go by the match timings.

    I am normally working over weekends, so I doubt I will stay up for those NBA matches over the weekend. However, If I get the chance I will research the matches and send you an email.