Thursday, 24 April 2014

"Jackpot problem"

Today I recognized a problem of my trading style. In soccer I was (almost) always backing the favourite for low odds. In tennis I make the opposite. I am often hoping for the "jackpot", a really big surprise. I recognized that there are some players you better don't lay in the beginning of the tournament. I am speaking about big characters like Sharapova, Li, Radwanska or Williams.

I am still in my apprenticeship, so I make mistakes over and over again. That's normal. What did I wrong today?

Laying the big favourites (Radwanska and Sharapova) was not a real good idea. I am still not enough patient to enter the right markets. Beside I have to prepare the day in advance. I found a good link at the blog of Tradeshark:

I am just hopping from one game to the next. After I had a sloppy start in the day (once again!), I tried to recover with another lay of a favourite in the last set. Of course Ivanovic was pushed too low, but this strategy seems better with men. I guess they can better forget about a bad set and fight back stronger...

After two disappointing days I am back in the red zone. Actually I reached at a year to date low. No wonder with a terrible 2:10 run over the last two days. I have to take the positive things out this (small) crisis:

  • I am still learning and I know the mistakes I make.
  • I didn't lose a lot of money, because the stakes are small.
  • I improve my player and market knowledge every day.
  • I am not (yet) a professional which needs the money for cover the living expenses.
  • I can spot value (at least most of the time).
  • I rarely lose the whole stake.
  • I have no worries about the ytd-record (around -120 Euro). It's just a number... It starts to count when I go for bigger amounts.
  • I trust the strategies.

Which fields I have to improve:

  • Laying less big favourites (too early)
  • Better preparation which starts already the day before
  • Stay patient (especially after a sloppy start)
  • Taking more breaks during a trading day

Tomorrow I have to work. So no (much) trading for me... I think it's the right time to make a small break and got some new energy.


  1. I hope you can sort out your trading Brulati as you seem to be bubbling up and down the break-even level at the moment. Hopefully you will get to where you want to be by the end of the year.

    Quite surprised you never knew of the Betfair tennis form page though :)

    I started trading again, I will be talking about it on my blog in the next few weeks. I'm just trading the 1st set of matches only using a £20 bank, nice way to ease back into things and I aim for a full month of overall profitable trades before I add anymore money to my account again. So far so good though for me, made no bad errors, hopefully it's the start of finally getting a grip of things. I will post my results in a few weeks time.

    Keep up the blogging, don't doubt yourself.

    1. Thanks for cheering me up, Alchemist! Yes, sometimes it feels like one step forward and then two back. I am not worried, because it's not (yet) my fulltime job. I have the time to learn the trading. The expierenced traders are always talking about 5'000 hours on the ladders to be really comfortable. I would say I have around 1'000 now...

      Without looking at my profit (also lost trades can be good!) I have to consider that only around 1/3 of the trades were good executed. 1/3 were decent (but not really good) and 1/3 were not good. Sometimes I took poor value, sometimes I was impatient, sometimes I didn't make a correct exit.

      Yes, this link I didn't know... :-) It will help me for a better preparation for the next day. Especially in the beginning of the day, I am running like a bull in the market. If I would take a look to the upcoming matches, I would wait for a real opportunity. And when it's here I am often too slow. I should not be worried about a 2-3 Ticks higher entry, you will almost never catch the lowest price. Courtsiders are quicker.

      It's good to trade with small stakes. In my case it's just enough money to have a bit of adrenaline, but not making me crazy when I lose the trade.

      To be honest, I hoped that the learning process is a bit quicker... but you can't forget, that's a competition against the very best doing this. I think tennis is less mainstream than soccer. I guess that at the smaller tournaments you don't find that much fun punters on the market. So it's a hard to succeed and it need a lot of practice.

      I will blog so long as I have fun. I think in not so successful times it's easier to write. When you make your steady income without many mistakes, it's not that fun to speak about. It's just your job. Okay, when I am not better at the end of the year I have to think if I continue. Some people never learn driving a car... and I think trading is a bit like this. You have to do a lot of things parallel and in the beginning it's really hard. With hard work the most people can learn it. At trading a lot of people give it up before... 5'000 hours it's a lot without any financial benefit! So I have 4'000 hours to go. :-/

  2. Hi, you should try and price matches up so this would give you a better guide for laying and backing, look at tennis insight or on court for stats both you have to pay but they are very good,.

    1. Thanks for your post.

      Tennis Insight robbed me... I opened an account and never got an access. I wrote them twice, They never replied. Jerks!! Thank god, I just spent 5 Euros (for two weeks which I never got). I will not pay anymore for anything. These services just steal the money. Like I wrote last time, one of the serious one is Tradeshark. I trust him and his service and the coaching of Sultan it's enough for me. It's just normal that you are more or less half a year around breakeven. I am not worried.

      Perhaps there are more talented people around, but a normal person needs some time to be profitable. I make mistakes I should not do... without them I would be in profit.

    2. Hi Brulati,

      It's great you have such a good self analysis after such a small amount of trading time.
      I think the improvement and profits will come from player knowledge. The market is priced right most of the time and a player is at low odds for a reason in 99% of situations.

    3. Thanks for the feedback, zergtrader. Much appreciated! I think it's necessary to be honest with myself to improve.

      Of course I had bad variance (at the moment more than not... when I don't have the balls to hold all the green on one player he/she wins and when I risk it, he/she loses), but in the long term it doesn't matter. Jankovic saved three matchpoints (I traded out with a small proft), Halep didn't convert three setpoints (I didn't green up... a mistake because the win of the set was almost priced in; I think in this kind of situacions you should play save).

      I am sure if I can fix the (small) mistakes and the variance goes in my way I will be in profit.

      Pregame you are more or less right with your 99%. Often the underdogs are for a reason so high priced or the favourite so low. Also Sultan tells that you normally find more value inplay. Inplay the market often overreacts, I think here it's possible to find more times (than just in 1% of the cases) value. Beforg the the game, you have to be really sure that the underdog can give a good fight. I think I was overconfident that Masha and Radwanska will have problems. With the experience I gained so far, it's not good going against the very big favourites at the beginning of the match. But there is a 2nd league with players like Ivanovic, Kerber or Halep which can be a decent lay.

      Like I wrote, I am still learning. It's normal to overtrade in the beginning and make mistakes. My target is to be at stage 5 at the end of the year. I think it's a realistic target.

  3. Do you price matches up then, if so how do you do it with what stats, never had a problem with tennis insight.

  4. To be honest, the trading style of Sultan (and so my one) is not so much about stats. I will take a look for sure, but in general it's about market overreaction. It doesn't help me to know that Haase is 0:5 against Youzhni when he is in the better shape. Also it doesn't help me a lot when I know that a player missed 15 breakchances last match. I like to watch and read the match. As a beginner I make wrong decicisions during a match, that's normal. Like I wrote, it's a process to improve the skills (game reading, player/market know how, patience).

  5. Great reply, just shows we all do things different, I find it helpful but you trade another way, do you mainly look for low lays then

  6. It can be helpful, but I would not give too much weight. I mean Almagro was 0:10 against Nadal before today. On the other side Almagro was not looking that brilliant neither against Klizan. For me the H2H and the stats from the last games are just a nice additional information. It's more important to know how they played the last weeks and how they react during during games. Of course every trading style is different...

    Normally I am laying, but in general I am looking for value. It can also be a back bet of a favourite with a terrible start. I depends on my game and market reading. I am still too much guessing who is winning. Actually you have just to go for the value, it the only concept you will long term in my opinion.

  7. You have quoted two matches to me where the H2H worked against but you can't pick and choose good and bad erani, shara, Ivanovic and jankovic all had better records, my point was if you don't price up how do you know where the value is, like if a Short price fav has lost 1st set that does not make him value if anything the price will be to short as traders will push the price down waiting for the comeback. Also do you work out roughly the end of set prices .

    1. What do you mean with "price up"? A guy in a tennis forum wrote some weeks ago: "If you have more money in your account after 500 matches you are able to spot value". In the long run bad and good variance will offset.

      My sample is still not big enough. I traded around 100 matches and I have a ROI of around -5%. Beside some poor trading I had bad variance.

      H2H is an indicator, so I would definitely not go against Shara today (especially not on clay). Often H2H is already priced in, so it's easier to find value during matches. We have different trading styles, that's not a problem. There are more than one way which is going to Rome. In the end the ROI counts and obviously it's not there it should be. Like I wrote if it's not getting better until the end of the year I will retire as a sportstrader. There is a point (I guess after 5'000 hours) you should be profitable, in other case you have not the right skills to trade. Could be... only 5% are in the long term profitable. I have the will which makes the differente to the most punters, but if I have the talent to be one of this 5%. I don't know. We will see.