Sunday, 23 March 2014

Not much value...

Today I didn't see much value at tennis. The TV coverage at Miami is pretty slim, so there are not that much trading opportunites like last week at Indian Wells. In the end I justed traded two matches (Andersson vs. Gasquet and Cibulkova vs. Cornet).

Andersson missed some breakpoint chances, so I scratched the trade. That was a good decision (because he lost), and I could recognize that my game reading is getting better. The entry point to lay Cibulkova was not the best one. Instead of waiting a bit more, I entered the market after the first set. It was not a good idea, because Cornet just missed four set points and the momentum was not on her side. Beside both ladies didn't serve well... so I should wait one more game, but the anxiety to miss an opportunity is still bigger than the patience to wait for the right moment. At least I recognized this problem and I can improve at this topic. The most important thing is the protection of the bank and not the (quick) growth. In comparison to a fulltime trader I have the advantage that trading is just my second source of income. So there is less force to make a trade.

At soccer I recognized that my strategy has one problem if the stupid rule with penalty, red card and goal takes place. Despite this fact, I still think the risk/reward-profile is quiet okay. In general I see more potential at tennis. So soccer will be definitely only my second source of income after tennis.

Confidence is growing...

The first quarter of the year I was looking for suitable trading strategies. I tried NBA, different approaches at soccer and tennis. Especially the football strategies were a disappointment. After three months I decided to focus on tennis. At the beginning I had my doubts if the strategies of Sultan work for me. I lost some trades and thought it's because the strategies. Now I can tell, that it was a mixture of bad luck and inadequate selection. You need patience to wait for the right entry point. It can happen, that you watch ten tennis games without making any trade. Some months ago I was bored about this fact, but now I see the benefits. Even without a trade, watching games helps to get a feeling of the players form and the market behaviour.

So far, the tournament at Miami is a success. The stakes are still small. The money management would allow a bit higher liabilities, but to strenghten the confidence it's alright in this way. Despite I am not 100% happy with the greens I can manage with good entries. The fear to lose a trade is still bigger than the trust in picking a good, long running, winner. On the other hand I read on the blog of Sultan that he changed last summer (after rising the stakes) his trading style for shorter waves. The advantage it's obvious. The variance of bad runs will be smaller. The disadvantage are the above mentionend smaller profits.

At soccer I just execute one strategy. Today I made a mistake because I didn't follow the game beside tennis. So I got a terrible matched bet. Fortunately I could cover the lost afterwards with a freestyle bet. Actually it should not work like this. I just have to be more concentrated when I am trading soccer. It's a quiet automatic strategy but it's too dangerous to let a trade unattended how I did...

Tomorrow or let's better say today the tennis tournament at Miami will continue. Beside there are two or three interesting soccer games. For sure another interesting day it's on his way...

Thursday, 20 March 2014

ATP and WTA at Miami

After Indian Wells the best tennis players headed to Miami. The main tournament started today. Unfortunately the only trade I did (back María Teresa Torró Flor) was a loser. In the end this should not be a big problem, because there also will be winners. Today I saw in three or four games value, but for different reasons I didn't enter the matches.

The weirdest one were Goffin... why he was traded for 1.15 (after one break) against Zeballos? For me was so strange, that I thought there is something wrong with the Argentinian. In the end he won easy with 2:0 sets, but without a trade from my side...

Beside there were great comebacks of Baghdatis against Giraldo and Riske (against Kichenok). Okay, you need to be brave to enter late in the 3th set (or just a few points before match points) for the most attractive swings. The Colombian players seem not to have the best nerves, beside Giraldo also Falla lost after a strong first set (and just a few points away from the win). At least the third Colombian, Gonzalez, won quiet easy against Jaziri.

Soccer is becoming profitable. Unfortunately there are only a few games I can execute this strategy. At least I can make some bucks for "free bets" at tennis. At the moment it's important to watch a lot of tennis matches to improve the knowledge of players and markets. Only with the right feeling for value you can make profit in the long term. I am positive, but it needs time to make profits on a frequent level. Let's see how much money I will make at Miami. The start was not that good, but it's a lot of time left to go green...

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Hours salary = 42 cents

Today I worked for 42 cents an hour. All day long (ten hours) I was trading and in the end I managed a profit of 4.27 Euros. On the first view this is looking very poor, but after a sloppy start in the year 2014, I am quiet happy to see a slight uptrend.

At soccer I still struggle. The missing swings (at least in comparison to tennis) and the efficiency of the football market don't give a lot of room for value trading. Starting the year, I had almost ten different soccer strategies. At mid of march are only two left in the repertoire. Both of them need a special constellation of the match which is rare. So soccer definitely can only be the addition to tennis.

At tennis I could manage a very small profit. Despite losses of Dolgopolov and Isner (which I favoured... at least for a good swing at start) I reached more than a breakeven result. At Roger's game I hoped for a slow start of the Swiss. This didn't happen, so I scratched the bet just in the right moment. Dolgopolov was far away from the form of the last days, so was a good decicion. Djokovic I layed when he went a break ahead in the first set. The odd was with 1.09 definitely too low. After he won the set, it was 1.08... so I basically managed to get a free bet against a Djokovic hold in the first set. At second set Isner managed two reakbreaks (four breaks in a row between such strong servers... quiet strange) and won the set in the tiebreak. After it I still saw the value on the side of the American (Djokovic was quiet upset after he lost the second set and in general he didn't play his best tennis), but in the end the world number 2 brought the game home.

I am quiet positive about tennis now. Thanks to the big leverage of the strategies you can make good profits even with an average win/lose-ratio. Despite this fact, it stays essential to look for value. Not every small odd is a good lay...

Tomorrow I will take a break of trading (at least in the afternoon). I will visit the motor show in Geneva:

I can make a reservation for a great car (if trading will go in the right direction next weeks and months I can buy it). :-)

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Money Management and Greening

Since I am more cautious about money management things are getting better. It's tempting to stake big, but normally you lose exactly the overstaked trades. At tennis I risk less than 1% of the account at one trade. The suggestion of Sultan for beginners (like me) is at most 1-2%. Advanced traders can risk up to 5% to not lose more than 2.5% with redding a bad going trade. At some soccer strategies my stakes are higher, because it's a scalping approach. The target is not losing more than 5% in the worst case.

Tonight was really nice to trade tennis. There were a lot of value opportunities. Some of them I missed (wins of underdogs Anderson or Raonic), some of them I could make profit (slow starts of Djokovic and Jankovic). On the other hand I lost with backing Fognini and Haas. In my opinion their odds were too high and despite the lost money, I would do the same in a similar situation again. I start to get confident in value seeking. The bigger problem I see, it's the trading with the "green amount". Was not obvious that Djokovic and Radwanska will turn the games in their favour?! In retroperspective yes, but also the common patterns suggest that. So I wasted money in beeing too cautious with my "green amounts". I think this is the main difference between a regular trader (me) and a good one (Sultan). Without "big greens" you will not make the profit you need to cover the bad trades.

It's important that you let run the "greens" and cut the "reds". At least my hitting rate was enough high to cover the lost trades even with smaller greens. In the long term, I have to be more efficient in the winning stage of the trades. The other fields ("value seeking" and "redding") are on a level I am quiet happy about.

Tomorrow the tennis tournament in Indian Wells will continue. The highligts are the rematch from Australian Open final between Cibulkova and Li at women's draw. At men's tournament I look forward to the matchup between Dolgopolov and Raonic (instead the more expected Nadal vs. Murray).

At soccer the European League will continue. Will the FC Basel succeed against a strong Red Bull Salzburg? How will be the Italian Derby between Juventus and Fiorentina? Beside there are the Swiss icehockey playoffs. It's not an interest about betting for me, but as a fan of HC Davos I will watch the game against the Kloten Flyers. It will be definitely a highlight evening / night of sports again...

Wednesday, 12 March 2014


I talked with Sultan about the ATP and WTA trading. He told me that he never would make so much profit without ATP. In general he also favours WTA, but would be a waste not having an eye on ATP as well. In general I think is hard work to be a good tennis trader (like in every other field you can earn money... even Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have to train hard).

It's about knowing the players and how the markets react. Since half a year I am watching a lot of tennis matches, but is still not the intensity I should do. Gulbis vs. Dimitrov was a very interesting matchup. For me was quiet obvious that the odd was pushed too low after the first set. These guys are almost on the same level and have a great form. They played last months twice and both could win one time. In general were tight fights and how I know Gulbis he is not the quickest starter. So I decided to lay Dimitrov after the first set. In third set I greened for a decent profit, the game was too open to favour one player at odds around 50/50. In the end Gulbis won, but the value was gone in 3th set. So I think the greening was right even I could make more profit with staying on the Latvian player until the end.

Despite not a plesant start in the tennis year (a bit like Shark) things are improving now. Once again, it's (almost) all about player knowledge. I think is similar to poker. You have no guarantee to win (because you need good cards), but in the long term the good players will succeed.

At soccer I had to recognize that some strategies are not working anymore. I am looking for other ways to have an edge. One approach seems very good, but unfortunately it's just generating a free bet with not much chance to win (but if it wins, it's jackpot :-)). On the other hand I am testing a system which should generate profits in a frequent way without depending on the outcome.

NBA I watch from the outside. Like I wrote at the last post, I think the liquidity is far worse than a month ago. That's annoying, because the value is hidden in the spread between back and lay odd. Perhaps is a conflict with the tennis tournament at Indian Wells. Could be that the few NBA traders are also active at tennis circuit...

Monday, 10 March 2014

Some thoughts...

Lately was a bit quiet on this blog. I had to go over the books and I did it. In the past I traded on too much fields. NBA at night, tennis at night and day, soccer during the week and at the weekend. Yes, it't tempting to trade as much as possible, but in the end you are not an expert in any sports and beside you are tired all the time.

You have to know that you trade against very smart people (at least the professionals). The market prices are right the most of the time. If you are not an expert in your field you can't find value and it's just betting and no real trading.

So, I  decided to stop with the NBA. First I didn't like so much the night sessions (seven days a week!). Second the liquidity sometimes (when there is no TV coverage) is very poor. The spread between the lay and back odd can be more than 25 ticks. Third it's almost impossible to read the game. It's just "guessing" that a turnaround is possible (normally a good team don't lose all four quarters). Fourth there are just a decent number of games during a night. It's quiet frustrating to stay awake the whole night and not get a good opportunity during six hours.

At soccer I am still not there, where I hoped to be some weeks ago. Some strategies are not working in the way I expected. It's quiet hard to fight against the high rollers in pre game or half time break trades. I have to find a way to go with them and not against them... unfortunately I couldn't read the strategies of the big fishes until now. I just recognized that I have to be more careful. It's easy to lose 10 Ticks offplay if you are on the wrong side...

Beside the high rollers there is another problem. The risk reward profile of the soccer trades were quiet poor. The outcome was probable, but one lost bet destroyed too much profit. So I am looking for a similar strategy, but with higher odds. Yesterday I had a good idea, I will test it during next days and weeks. I will keep you informed.

At tennis I think about a specializing to WTA tour. I have the feeling that the women are easier to trade. First you see more swings because the bigger amount of breaks. Second is easier to read their game and their body language. Some weeks ago a girl even cried during a break because she had not a clue how she can beat her opponent. :-) Third I think there are a lot more surprising results than at ATP tour. In general it's also quiet difficult to trade both, because they play often the same time. Beside you have to know around 250 men and 250 female players. It's a big amount, I think is better to make a first priority on the WTA... I will discuss the idea with my mentor Sultan.

In summary I would say, watch carefully the high rollers at soccer, trade more WTA and less NBA and ATP.