Friday, 21 May 2010

You Punter!

Am I a trader or a punter? A recent post apparently produced “evidence if it were ever needed that you are not a trader but just a punter”.
I think it was meant as an insult. “Just a punter!” Oh the shame.

Actually, as Matt said “Aren't punters and traders the same thing? :) It's all gambling”.
Does it even matter?

Traders are clearly “taking a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit”, the definition of gambling, and the outcome of a trade is uncertain, and so are punters.

Given that trading and punting are just two (sometimes overlapping) approaches at solving the same problem, I’m not sure why a trader should be held in higher regard than a punter. I would think it more appropriate to base any respect on profitability.

What do most people mean by a ‘trader’ or a ‘punter’ anyway?

If I back something pre-game and then lay off at 1.01 two minutes from the end, am I trader?

If I start trading an event, and decide that there is no value in the price to lay off at and let the bet run, am I a punter?

And then there’s the question of trading styles. All traders do not trade the same way. (This is a good thing!) Some trade a couple of ticks, others are swing traders, others are momentum traders and so on. Some trade pre-off, others in-play.

So it seems to me that it would be rather silly to limit my options to just one style or the other, for no good reason. Winning at anything can be achieved in different ways. Find a style that suits your risk tolerance and if it’s profitable, run with it, but no extra credits are awarded FOR style. It’s an individual choice. Play to your strengths. For most people (not all) a job title in itself is meaningless - it's the salary that matters.

Where do I fit on the trader-punter scaIe? Definitely well over to the trader side in terms of money, (or the trader targeting Premium Charge would never be a problem), but certainly not averse to punting on certain markets or on events that might be running parallel to a trading event if I consider it value. My Elo selections and those of Football Elite fall into this category.

One limitation of trading is that only one event can be traded at a time. Sure, there are the 2.5% of the population I was reading about who are “super-taskers” but unfortunately I’m not one of them. I get distracted or bored often enough as it is, with just one event in-play!


Anonymous said...

Suggest that you look up the words punter and trader in Wikipedia.
Could not find a definative explanation for Short Term Investor, which might be a better description



Anonymous said...

Punter=One who lays a bet against the bank, as in roulette (fits in with anon's point pretty well)

Punter= A prostitute's client (fits in with anon's opinion of you pretty well!)

Matt said...

It's all one and the same, as I said in my other comment, somehow when choosing 'trading' over 'punting', people conveniently forget the gamble / probability aspect of making the trades. If you are a long term losing 'trader', then you are taking on trades with implied odds that are below value. It's really as simple as that. How you translate that to different markets is not so simple, pre off horse racing is pure supply/demand. In play tennis has an underlying scoring structure that provides another layer of complexity, as do many other sports / in play markets.

I'm enjoying commenting rather than blogging..

Anonymous said...

Comments that it's more important what you make, then fails to clarify that point. PMSL.

Anonymous said...

^^ at least they make grammatical sense.

Betfair have come up with a pretty good way of distinguishing between the two with the Premium charge. Ignoring those with normally unrealistic edges (mainly insiders) and not going into closing out bets etc. it's probably a question of risk, the trader will know very quickly when their profitability goes whereas the punter will take alot longer.

Cassini said...

@ #4 - This blog assumes a number of things, one being that most readers are interested in maximising their income from sports investing. Apparently you question that assumption, so feel free to put forth your argument for holding that belief rather than ask me to state, what for everyone else, is rather obvious.

Anonymous said...

If you want to read a real gamblers blog you should check out The Gambler at

Looks like he'll lose £4.2K on the BMW but it's a drop in the ocean to what he usually makes

Cassini said...

Yes indeed. I may have to move his blog from the 'Other Blogs I Read' list up to the 'Betting Blog' section!

Odatafan said...

I think the difference may be expressed in the expected value. A professional gambler has figured out how to obtain positive EV, perhaps by winning against lesser gamblers at poker. In a casino, the gambles are by definition EV-negative. Nevertheless, taking a -EV gamble can be rational as I explained here . I tracked this argument to Milton Friedman, but I imagine it is much older.

Odatafan said...

Is this dim of me? That blog is password protected. And I think I put my comment on the wrong post. I mention to comment on the definition of gambling versus trading -- trading usually wins a little but occasionally loses a lot; gambling usually loses a little but occasionally wins a lot.