Tuesday, 30 September 2014

A small setback

The project "Ultimo" accelerates more and more. Thanks the great IT knowledge of my partner, we are capable to collect a lot more data in a shorter time frame. Today we could add around ten more matches to the database. In the next step we will analyze all data and compare them with the strategies (backtesting).

I had not the best trading day. I started with Garcia-Lopez against Djokovic. Despite Novak was not playing his best match (especially in the beginning) the Spaniard had no chance. He lost 2:6, 1:6. That was disappointing after the great fight he gave Nole some months ago at Monte Carlo. I lost 20 Euros...

Afterwards I traded Rafa against Gasquet. The ATP tour comeback of Nadal was impressive. I could manage a small green in the first set. If Richard could give a harder fight in the second set, the profit would be nice. In the end I made a profit of around 20 Euros, so I was breakeven at lunch time.

In the afternoon we saw a typical Murray game with a slow start and a great comeback. That's (normally) a good scenario for a trader. My entry worked quiet well, but I was not capable to ride the swings as good as possible. I made a profit of 15 Euros.

The last game I traded was Gulbis vs. Fognini. I expected a match with a lot of emotions and complaining. The Latvian was so strong (at serve) that the meeting was too onesided to inflame the temperament of these two players. Unfortunately I made a mistake and opened my position too late in the first set. I started the 2nd set with a red position and was basically betting on Fabio. Perhaps he was even value at almost 10, but I didn't go with my gut feeling. Instead of cutting the loss, I hoped for a turnaround. In the end the loss was bigger than it should be. Thanks to an adequate money management nothing serious happened. Since the start I am still in profit (see chart below).

Like I wrote in the last post, a swallow doesn't make a spring. Today I had to recognize that I am definitely not over the mountain yet. I take the good things out of this day. We collected a lot data for the project "Ultimo", and beside I could improve the strategies.

Tomorrow I will not trade much, because I have to work in my regular job. The next action day will be at Thursday. I look forward to return in the green zone. Keep greening, traders!    

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Some interesting figures...

Once again I like to refer to the 5 Stages of Betfair Trading: http://www.geekstoy.com/forum/showthread.php?1589-The-5-Stages-To-Betfair-Trading

You are making trades whenever your system tells you to. You take losses just as easily as you take wins. You now let your winners run to their conclusion fully accepting the risk and knowing that your system makes more money than it loses and when you're on a loser you close it swiftly with little pain to your account.
You are now at a point where you break even most of the time - day in day out, you will have weeks where you make 100 ticks and weeks where you lose 100 ticks - generally you are breaking even and not losing money. You are now conscious of the fact that you are making calls that are generally good and you are getting respect from other traders. You still have to work at it and think about your trades but as this continues you begin to make more money than you lose consistently.

This lasts about 6 months.

I reached the stage "Conscious Competence". I believe in my strategies and most of the time I trade around breakeven. Probably even above a neutral result, but one swallow doesn't make a spring! So I like to keep the euphoria low.

I started to report my trades with the tool Sultan mentioned at his blog. It's called MyBetLog: http://www.mybetlog.com/

It seems that the profits of Sultan are real. It would be difficult to fake these charts. Nevertheless I would enjoy a bit more transparency. Why hiding the most interesting (the numbers)?! He mentioned that premium charge is on his way. So it's quiet easy to estimate the numbers. I would guess, that he earns in an average month high four digit or low five digit numbers (in pounds). Congratulations!

Mybetlog is really a nice tool. You just have to download your betfair data, and the charts are created with one or two clicks:

In the last two days I made four trades, all of them were successful. How you can see, I have a different approach than Sultan. Well, the sample of data it's small, but with my strategy the strike rate will be higher than the 40% of him. It doesn't mean that my one is better. It's just to show that different ways leads to Rome...

Despite the fact that I made a good green, I am not completely happy with my trading. The first stage of the match (http://brucelaytrading.blogspot.ch/2014/09/three-stage-model.html) was quiet okay. There is still some space for improvement, but I executed the strategies correct. With the second part of the trade I was not happy. I hedged at wrong moments and I didn't trade the swings like I should. The matches of Kerber (price went from 1.03 to over 2.00) and Murray (price went from 50 to 1) brought great scenarios for a decent profit. Unfortunately I didn't do much out of these opportunities.

At least it was a helpful lesson. It was not that hard like the one of the scammer, but with a better swing trading I could make a lot more profit. I made some small adjustments which will bring (hopefully) better results in the future. I am sure that I need these "jackpot trades" to cover the losses which will come for sure. 4-0 it's a nice run, but a strike rate of 80% it's unfortunately more realistic than one of 100%. Nevertheless I hope that the first loss will not come so quick...

14'415 Euro is the predicted profit of 1'000 markets. This is probably around the number of trades, I can handle (at most) in a year. For me this target seems quiet realistic. Like I wrote some days ago, I like to work as a part time trader in 2015. To go full time I need at least three times higher numbers. If the strategies work that step seems not that difficult, it's just about increasing the stakes. The liquidity of Betfair markets gives a potential of factor 10 or higher (at bigger tournaments). The business plan is looking promising. The project "Ultimo" is on the right track!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

(Almost) same result, but different profit!

Some months ago Petra Kvitova and Eugenie Bouchard played the Wimbledon final. I traded this match and was quiet sure that the Canadian can give at least a great fight. In the end she lost 3:6, 0:6! For me this scenario was a Titanic. I made everything wrong I could do. Wrong entry point, no money management (I lost 80% of my bank) and no stop loss. Of course the match was not a trader's dream, but a professional would not lose more than 1-2% of his account.

Today Kvitova and Bouchard met again in a WTA final. They played at Wuhan, China. Again I saw a decent value at the Canadian. Unfortunately a déja vu happened. She was outplayed and lost 3:6, 4:6. The result is looking closer than the match was. Kvitova started both sets with an early break and was always in control.

Nevertheless I was capable to manage a small profit. Two months ago I lost around one grand, and today with the more or less same scenario I won around 20 Euro. Things are changing to the good!

I am not over the mountain yet, but trading really starts to improve. If you are capable to make profit in a quiet bad scenario, you are on the right track.

I am really motivated for the last quarter of  the tennis season 2014. Thanks to the project "Ultimo" future is looking bright. Obviously the 58'000 Euro loss still hurts, but it's the past and I try to ignore everything about this story. I can't change it anymore. I live in the present and in the future. I can say once again: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail better. 

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Traders behaviour

Lately a lot of traders are talking about the show "Traders: Million by the minute". The two episodes you can find on the blog of Caan Berry, one of my favorite professional traders: http://caanberry.com/traders-behaviour/

Sultan already quoted one of the most important sentence a successful trader told: "Most traders who do give up, probably don't give it as much (hard work) as those that don't (give up)". It's the same thing I always mention with my favorite quote of Samuel Beckett: Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.

Beside a sustainable loser mentioned that trading is what he likes to do. Despite he earned good money before at another job. It's definitely not good to lose money, but if you can make a decent income it's fine, even if it's lower than in a regular job. One year ago I earned a five digits number a month (in Euro), but I was not happy. I wanted a new challenge, and I found it with sportstrading. It's not the money which makes you happy, it's what you are doing. Obviously it feels better when your income is high. In general I prefer a smaller income with something I like to do in comparison to a higher income in a job I don't like. In the end your happiness will help you to achieve good results.

Never it's fallen a masterpiece from sky. It needs time to learn the markets and yourself. Caan wrote about it in the last article. I learned about myself that I couldn't accept losses. After a bad trade I started to chase. Normally the things started to get worse. Like at the stock exchange, trading is not a one way street. Even the best traders have losing bets and bad periods. You can't lose the focus on the long term, in other case you will fail. I tightened my money management and made the strategies more conservative. 

With the mentioned corrections I act calmer at the ladders. A 1% capital loss per trade is acceptable, and the feeling of chasing is gone. Beside the more conservative strategies help me to act patient. Obviously I miss the one and other opportunity, but it helps me to control my emotions. The Sultan strategy guide didn't fit my taste 100%, because it allows you to enter in lot of scenarios. On the other hand the approach is really tight in closing red trades. I don't blame Sultan, the strategy works for him. What I like to say, every trader has to find his own style. It has to fit your character. I learned about myself that I need more saftety barriers to control my emotions. 

In summary I would say that is important to work hard to succeed. Only a lot of hours on the ladders will help to become successful. Like learning drive a car some of us needs more lessons than others. If you have a lot of talent, you are lucky. If not you have to work even harder (It's looking like that I am one of this category). Beside it helps you if you don't see trading just as a job. If you are not really happy with doing it, I would suggest to apply for "regular job". It's less stressful and normally easier to learn. Like I wrote above, only copy&paste of strategies doesn't work. You have to go your own way and that is quiet hard. Obviously some professional traders like Caan or Sultan can give you some ideas, but in the end you have to learn it on your own because the trading style has to fit your personality!

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Much wind for nothing...

Serena Williams lost her third match in a row against Alizet Cornet! In the beginning she seemed in control of everything, but suddenly things slipped away. The end of the match was quiet strange. She made another break (it was a break festival) and took a medical timeout. First the doctor measured fever, afterwards blood pressure! The market reacted crazy... 1.01 up to 2.00 and back again. Nobody knew what's going on. In the end, all was for nothing, because the bets were voided. I was on a winning position, so it's a bit frustrating, but next time I could be on the other side.

In general the paper testing was promising. The hitting rate was probably above the average (thanks to the upsets), but even with a lower winning percentage the strategies should work. The risk-/reward ratio seems okay now. After I reached the low with being scammed a month ago, things start to improve again. It's important to take step after step now. Obviously it takes months or even years to recover the financial loss. At the moment I don't think in financial targets. If the strategies work, I can scale them up and rise the profits.

Next two months I will test the strategies and collect more data. In 2015 I will continue as a part time trader. Beside I work 50% in a regular job to have the financial security. The target is to make my first (!) ever positive year on the betting markets. If I compare my mindset to earlier times, it's like day and night. I don't trade anymore the the players, I trade the market. In 2016 I like to go full time. Until then should it be possible to make as a trader the same income like as a part time employee.

Friday, 19 September 2014

Three stage model

Lately I read different strategy guides. For my taste they were too general or the structure didn't fit my taste. It's really difficult to write a good strategy book.

I recognized that copy & paste doesn't work at all. Other guides can just be an input for a brainstorming. It's really difficult to implement a logical structure. In my opinion that's the key for the success. I don't want to go in the details, but I like to summarize my approach.

In the first stage of a trade I am looking for a low volatility in the market. Like Caan wrote some days ago, it's really important to find a good risk/reward-ratio (http://caanberry.com/risk-reward-ratio). In the past I made the mistake to enter the market too early or too late. Sometimes the market was still too nervous, and on the other hand I missed a good lay opportunity since the start. You can find much overpriced favorites. Today you could see this fact with Wozniacki, Cornet and Suarez. In the end all of them won, but they had to fight hard despite their start prices were 1.20 and lower... In the first stage of a trade it's all about creating an "all green book". In general I stake in the beginning of a match higher for less ticks. You don't have to win the jackpot (Yes, scammer "Ulas" with this you are right. Beside you are just pitiful. Nothing more to say, these kind of people just deserve ignorance!), normally you will not. In the first set you have to work on the base for the later stages.

If you have a green book at the end of the first set (or before), you are capable to go for the bigger swings. I look for value lays or comebacks of strong players. When you have a green book after the first set, you can back the big favourites, which lost the first set, more aggressive (for example at the beginning of the set). If you are in a losing position or just breakeven, I don't recommend this strategy. Normally the market loves the favourites too much and you normally can't find value at this time of the match. In this stage of the trade is all about compound the profit. While the first stage of the trade is more mechanical with strict rules, here you can go with your gut feeling.

Last, but not least, also the third stage of a trade is very interesting. I would call it "hail mary". At tennis matches it's quiet common that big favourites or leaders (odds < 1.05) loses or start to struggle. Often the risk/reward-ratio is brillant at the end of a match. The momentum can change really quick. If you close a trade too early, you often miss the most interesting stage of a tennis match. When I was at Sultan's trading academy, I was surprised that Sultan closes trades early and moves to the next match. Movements from 500 to 100 doesn't seem interesting, but you get a great leverage for little money.

It's still a long way to go. Trading is easier in theory than in reality, but I am sure that I am with the described three stage model on the right way. In the next step I will concretize the plan behind this approach with a data collection and suitable strategies.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Strategy development

After the scam the daily routine comes in again. Nevertheless I like to publish a comment of betfair on my blog:

"We have recently been made aware of several incidents where customers have shared their Betfair account details (including usernames and passwords) with a third party who has promised to trade on the customers’ account and generate large returns. Despite what they may claim, such third parties are not approved, endorsed or associated with Betfair in any way and typically result in the customers involved losing their money.

We would therefore like to remind all customers to keep your Betfair username and password strictly confidential and never share them with any third party. If your username and password is shared in this manner, then under our terms and conditions, Betfair will be entitled to assume that you have personally carried out the activity on your account."

Back to trading... in general I suggest to go your own way. Lately I read a lot of strategy guides. They are not bad, but trading is a personal topic. One person is more cautious than the other. This fact influences the money management and placing stop losses while trading. Beside there are technical and emotional traders. The first ones like chart analysis, the second ones prefer trading with gut feeling.

Bruce Lee combined different fighting techniques and produced a better one. This is also my approach, that's the reason for the blogs name Bruce Lay. I try to combine scalping with swing- and over value-trading. The strategies are a mix between chart analysis and gut feeling. The money management is more conservative as in the past and described in other guides. The strategy starts to fit my taste.

In summary I would say that the strategy is something individual. You can't copy and paste from another trader. You should develop your own approach. It's time consuming, but in the end you will be comfortable with it.

Next weeks the main tournaments are played in Asia. Unfortunately the matches are played very early in the morning (European time). I will try to wake up early and change my rhythm. I think this could be even harder than to improve my trading skills. :-)

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Project Ultimo

Let's call this project "Ultimo". It's the last try to become a successful trader. If I am not successful until the end of year 2015 my trading career failed. What happened so far and what are the future targets? I will talk about that in this post.

In the summer 2013 I decided to become a part time trader. I started to watch tennis games and made my internet research. Amongst other I found the blog of Sultan (http://centrecourttrading.blogspot.ch) and TradeSharks tips (http://blog.tradesharktennis.com). Beside I still traded soccer and other sports. Around one year ago I joined Sultan's trading academy and I started to focus on tennis. Perhaps I was a bit too harsh against Sultan after I was scammed from the other guy. I would say that the price for his package was too high, but it was my own will to pay this money. I still have my doubts that he is a successful trader, but in the end it's not my business. Without any doubts, Sultan and TradeShark gave me ideas, how I can trade tennis.

During the time at Sultan's trading academy I reached stage 3 of betfair trading: http://www.geekstoy.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1589. At this time I thought I was already at stage 4, but I was definitely not. Unfortunately not, then in other case I would not be scammed. In May, where the "professional trader" came in my life, I was struggling. With some theory of trading, faked p+l statements and a wrong identity card, he won my trust. I don't want to go again deeper in the details, in other case I have to vomit. I never before had so much disrespect for a person. At least he gave me some ideas of trading, but an internet research would be the cheaper option.

With a serious partner I started the project "Ultimo" two weeks ago. With the knowledge I acquired in the last months, I reached the level 4 of betfair trading. We are still in the beginning of the marathon, but the progress is obvious. Yesterday I traded the US Open final between Cilic and Nishikori. Despite a bad scenario for a trader (very one sided match) and some trading mistakes, I managed a small profit. Meanwhile the strategy guide contains 18 pages and is getting better and better. Beside we create a big database with price developments during the matches. Until the start of the new season we like to finish this step. Aside I start to trade with bigger stakes. We defined the money management quiet conservative, so I am not afraid of this rise. A 1% loss of the bank per trade is the worst what can happen.

The next big matches are at the upcoming weekend. The Davis Cup half final will take place. Switzerland will host Italy and Czech Republic will meet France in the other match of last four teams. Perhaps it will bring some trading opportunities. I look forward to interesting matches. Hopp Schwiiz, go for the final Roger and Stan!

Sunday, 7 September 2014


The last post brought some waves. I have to clarify some things. Sultan was not the scammer I mentioned! He sells a service (strategy guide and email support) which has his price. Everybody has to decide if it's a good deal or not. For my taste 500 pounds is too expensive. In the meantime he lowered the price, so the value could be better. I just have my doubts that he is a successful trader. There are no real proofs that he makes money with trading and why in the hell you sell your strategies to competitors?! In the beginning he told that's an exclusive offer, and now he opens the door even more. For me this is smelly, but I would not say that he is a real scammer, he just takes advantage of good marketing.

My scammer plays in another league and is a real criminal. Since more than five years he tricks people with wrong identity, fake profit & loss statements, wrong facebook profile and different neteller and probably betfair accounts. I just can warn you once again, be aware of him! Don't trust anybody which says something like this: "I am myself full time tennis trader and manage wallet for betfair customers...". If something is looking to good to be true, there is something wrong. I can't believe that this scammer is that stubborn that he tries to steal more of my money. Greed is the beginning of the end. Enough is enough! Now it's not my problem anymore, it's issue of the police. If somebody likes to play with the fire, it's his risk. I lost money, but that is still better than going in the jail or live always in the fear to be caught. That is the last posting about scamming. I am really pissed, but life and trading has to continue.

With a real partner I am working on a database and a strategy guide. Beside I will rise my stakes. I know that the readers are interested in numbers and profit & loss statements. For me was the same, when I was reading the blog of Sultan. I will let you know about my development. I will do it with excel charts. In the end you can fake them as good as betfair statements. I never will sell anything, so I think you can trust me. :-)  I have no itention to lie...

Tuesday, 2 September 2014


"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better" - Stan Wawrinka tattooed this quote of Samuel Beckett on his arm. With will you can achieve a lot. "Stan the man" reached the top of the tennis world and won the Australian Open. My new slogan is the same quote.
Lately I learned that a printscreen it's worth nothing. You can fake it without any problems. So don't believe what you are seeing at Internet. I was a victim of a scammer which knows how to use photoshop and lightshot. At least he has a strong knowledge of trading (in theory), and I learned some new approaches. I will finish my strategy guide next days.

Yes, I failed... but Stan Wawrinka showed what is possible if you don't give up. It was a painful lesson, and my trust in people suffered.

This story has two consequences:

  • I will not post anymore profit&loss statements at this blog. In the worst case a scammer misuse them. Beside these printscreens are no real proof about the performance.
  • I only get in closer contact with people which shows their real face over Skype. I am interested in a real partnership.

That's it. I hope that the daily routine will start after this post. I will keep you informed about my development as a trader.