Friday, 23 May 2014

The difference between a pro and me...

Today was a really tough day, not one good outcome for my professional partner and me. The big difference between us... he was able to make profit (despite our favoured players lost) and me not. I wrote a similar post some days ago about killer instinct. To be more precise, I think it's mainly a problem of hedging.

While my partner hedged his greens (Kerber, Berlocq, Garcia... all of them lost!) I was overconfident and in chasing mode with Kerber and Petkovic. Unfortunately both Germans couldn't take profit of the gained momentum and lost in straight sets against underdogs. Especially after a bad start (which I had with Seppi against Istomin) the risk to miss the hedge on the right time is big.

There are different styles of trading with green positions. I discussed this topic more than once with Sultan, but there is not one right answer. He told me that the decicion has made BEFORE the trade goes green. Unfortunately I didn't do this. I speculated that the Germans will reach the 3th set with the gained momentum. In general both ladies didn't play well, so it would be better to go the save way. Especially before a big tournament you never know if a player tanks.

If you decide to green-up but think more opportunities for swings may occur in the match, you can "re-invest" or "churn" your profit. This is more the style of my partner. There are matchups which this approach doesn't make much sense. Especially if a big favourite (for example Rafa) comes from behind, I would not expect much more swings. At a more even matchup this strategy seems better. I (almost) never saw one way traffic between two equal strong players after one reduced the gap. Normally there will be more swings...

I can remember that Sultan made a post on his blog about his small change of trading style. With bigger stakes he entered the market for shorter periods. The target was often one break and afterwards he churned the profit. I learned that the professionals normally don't go for the "jackpot". They normally don't lay 1.05 and hold the position until the end. Perhaps they do after a fantastic day, but in general they are looking for free bets or save profit. Was it save to hold profit on Petkovic and Kerber? Not really... both players are not in their very best shape. It's a different story to ride a trade of Nadal, Djokovic, Sharapova or Williams to the end (especially at big tournaments). I recognized that you can't trust too much on the momentum you see on the court (the market actually includes this). There are some exceptions when a underdog really plays well and the market is still in love with the favourite, but often the momentum change is already priced in (for example at the 4:4 score of Kerber). The situacion of Kerber was tricky... if Pliskova breaks, she is in real troubles. That happened (even when it was looking like she gained momentum before), so my good looking trade went terrible in the wrong direction. Afterwards the Czech player could serve for the match and succeed. More or less the equal situation we had with Petkovic... twice I was caught. In the way Kerber was serving during this match, I should not take this gamble.

In summary I learned today that is important to hedge more. "Let the green trades run" is only in some circumstances the right approach. In general I would say this is the case when a (big) underdog plays well and the market is still in love with the favourite or if the big player comes from behind and starts to perform. At more even matchups is better to ride the waves. Normally there is no one way traffic at these matches...


  1. Hi Brutali,

    Once again I can relate to what your saying, me and you both made the same mistakes yesterday, I had a green on Simon near the end of the 1st set after Berlocq broke him, I stayed in and Berlocq gave the set back to Simon and my green turned red never to return to green again. I did the same with Giorgi as well, so I made the same mistake twice, its so frustrating but at least we can see where we went wrong and your right we need to learn to hedge a profit and then compound the profit instead of like you say waiting for the jackpot.

    1. Thanks for your comment. I am still in the "jackpot mode" and lost today with laying Puig. Especially it's tempting to lay a big favourite for small odds. What I learned the last two weeks with the pro, that this will not work in the long term. At tennis you have to be patient to find good value at even games or when the favourite is behind. I will slightly adjust the strategies of Sultan to find a better match to my trading style.

      Yes, compounding is definitely better than try to hold the green as long as possible. Especially at best of 5 matchups it's better to go for as much as possible swings.