Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Sports Trading Bibliography


I was asked the other day for suggestions about books that might help a fellow IT professional (Bernard) get up to speed on the exchanges a little faster than usual, and since he didn’t leave an e-mail address, I shall put some ideas out here.

When I began sports trading in 2004, I read the same Betfair specific books as everyone else – Lay, Back and Think Of Winning by Nigel Paul was I believe the first, soon followed by Game, Set And Matched by Iain Flecher. Neither are going to make you rich any time soon, but they are easy reads for an introduction to the exchanges.

I also read Racing Post's The Definitive Guide To Betting Exchanges edited by Paul Kealy and Winning On Bettfair For Dummies. These are all basic stuff though, and unless you are a complete novice, you’ll probably not get too much out of them.

I read a number of financial trading books which helped, notably:

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van K Tharp

Financial Freedom Through Electronic Day Trading by Van K Tharp

The Way Of The Warrior-Trader by Richard McCall

Way Of The Turtle by Curtis M Faith

High Probability Trading by Marcel Link

Trading For A Living by Dr. Alexander Elder

Binary Betting by John Piper

Other non-sporting suggestions are:

Fooled By Randomness by Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre (Jesse Livermore)

Sports Specific:

Mathletics: How Gamblers, Managers, and Sports Enthusiasts Use Mathematics in Baseball, Basketball, and Football by Wayne L Winston

Profitable Football Betting by Paul Steele

The Complete Book Of Sports Betting by Jack Moore

Moneyball by Michael Lewis

Just a few suggestions from my collection, and develop at least a basic understanding of probability. Probability for Dummies by Deborah Rumsey PhD is as good a place to start as any.

With a background in IT, Bernard is well placed to be successful and while the books above are helpful in that they set the mind working, (you need your own ideas), but there is no substitute for experience.

It never was my thinking that made the big money for me. It always was my sitting. Got that? My sitting tight! It is no trick at all to be right on the market. You always find lots of early bulls in bull markets and early bears in bear markets. I've known many men who were right at exactly the right time, and began buying or selling stocks when prices were at the very level which should show the greatest profit. And their experience invariably matched mine--that is, they made no real money out of it. Men who can both be right and sit tight are uncommon" - Jesse Livermore

1 comment:

Mark said...

Hi Cassini

Thanks for posting this information up. I have read some of the books on your list and have now added the rest to my Amazon wish list. One other book that is popular and recommended by quite a few other bloggers is ‘Trading the Zone’ by Mark Douglas.

I believe that you are quite correct about there being no substitute for experience. I would also like to add my own personal view (that I will probably get shot down for) that paper trading is of little value as a learning tool.

I believe that there is no real benefit to be gained from paper trading, apart from showing the very basic mechanics of how a method works. I for one prefer not to paper trade but to use minimum stakes.

The reason for my aversion to paper trading is that it does not affect our emotional state. I could paper trade and loose half my virtual bank of one million pounds and I would not be affected at all by the experience, but if I had a bank of just ten pounds sterling and lost half of it during my testing, I would be exposed to mild versions of the emotions that go along with the trading for more substantial sums.

Also when trading using minimum stakes we have to physically put trades on and lay them off, which can highlight potential problems with trading software etc that virtual trading can not.

Thanks again
Mark