Thursday, 29 May 2014


What's going on at Paris? There are not even played all games of the 2nd round and a lot of favourites are already out of the tournament. The biggest surprise was definitely the loss of Serena Williams. Nothing against Muguruza (she played the match of her life so far), but what was going on with the number 1?! 2:6, 2:6 is a crazy result. Beside that shocker the defeats of Li Na, Stan Wawrinka, Grigor Dimitrov, Alizet Cornet and Kei Nishkori are looking like a childrens birthday. Other favourites were a bit "luckier", but had to fight harder than expected (for example Errani, Jankovic or Stepanek/Youzhni in the first round). It seems that the wet and cold conditions are the basis for these upsets.

Perhaps these results would help my trading approach in the past. I often layed big favourites at the start for small odds. Normally this approach doesn't pay off because it's almost impossible to find the big upsets. Beside the mentioned surprises, Ivanovic, Kvitova, Halep, Radwanska, Federer, Nadal, Murray, Djokovic and Ferrer won quiet easy. It's just normal that people think first about the smashed 1.01 to 1.10 odds. On the other hand a huge amount of these bets are "one way tickets".

How these surprises influenced my profit&loss? To be honest, the last days could be better. I missed good opportunities. One of the reasons are the slow pictures. Unfortunately I have only TV coverage of Eurosport. I have a delay of 30 seconds and more at the internet channels. Today I was green on Serena Williams (after she reduced the gap to one break), but when I wanted to hedge the profit, she was already 0:15 down. So I waited and hoped that she will hold. She didn't and my profit was gone. It's really difficult to trade under these circumstances. Okay, there are possiblities to solve this problem (two screens for example), but I am really not happy with the TV coverage. Bet365 has no pictures at all, Tennis TV (which have at least only a delay of around 15 seconds) neither.

Beside some (good value) trades didn't go the way they do normally. It was just bad variance which happens. On the other hand I picked players (for example Lisicki) which I shouldn't. After the match I read that she was ill before the tournament... bad preconditions (beside the slow court) for a good performance.

On the other hand I missed some really great opportunities. I waited too long. Beside the slow pictures the strategies of Sultan don't allow an entry during a game. It's a save approach and I don't blame it, but you can miss value. The market often overreachts at breakpoints, so it's a good opportunity to enter. The risk/reward is huge at these moments. If the break appears, you lose some ticks (obvious), but if not, you are in a really strong position. Don't forget, the server (at least at men matches) has still the advantage on his side.

Lately I changed a bit more to "freestyle trading". Value is value, and sometimes you can't wait until the (second) break is here. Often the chance will not come again... Raonic was traded at 1.80 in the first set. That was value (was a price like he lost the first set already), but it was just available during one single game. About hedging and re-investing I talked last time. I think when I can improve the hit rate, this topic is getting less important. Profit brings profit and you will act quieter. Beside the in the last post described half stake approach helps my mind. You are not that much under pressure to close the trade too early.

Some months ago there was a discussion about hedging. In general you should only do it, when the value is gone. When you go with the favourites it's easier, often the market trusts them too much. So you will find good hedging opportunities. The other way is more difficult. It takes a perceived eternity until the market accepts the possibility for a dog win. With this knowledge you should hedge more often the favourites than the dogs. In reality are a lot more influences: gut feeling, generated profit of  the day, how many games to go and so on...

In summary I would say that trading tennis should be much more intuitive than following rules. The strategies of Sultan are a good help for beginners, but are not flexible enough. He refers in his guide to advanced trading (with less fix exits and with re-invest), I think this is more the style which makes him so successful. Now I am quiet sure that you will be less successful if you search for patterns (fix entry and exit-points). In the guide it's a lot of talk about laying low odds (mainly under 1.30), but often backing 1.80 can be value as well. No wonder that I struggled in the beginning with a very bad hitting rate. Obviously you will have a lot of losing trades, when you lay players around or under 1.30...

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