I hadn't realised before Martin mentioned it in a comment on my last post that that Tennis Trading is the trader formerly known as Brulati.
Here's what Martin had to say on yesterday's post:
Very nice comment, Cassini!
About scaling up, I am with you. I know that there is a limit, because of liquidity issues. If you can make 200 Euros a day, that would be enough ;-). With this amount you would be on the way to a full time trader. To be honest, I liked your last part of the post. A year ago (when I was blogging under the name Brulati) I had this target. Right now I feel a lot more comfortable to see it as a side income and a hobby. My income with a normal job is higher, risk free and you have paid holidays/weekends, pension funds and insurance. I am with you, if you have the possibility for a "real job" is better to go this way. Beside trading is quite a lonely occupation.
About Sultan... I don't know, what is the secret for his success. I don't think that he has a connection to court-siders. How you know, I was a student of his academy. The strategy guide is no rocket science, but is written quite well. Of course he doesn't sell his edge for 500 pounds. Like I mentioned in my blog, the strategy only makes 10% of the success. His document doesn't give you a real edge. In my opinion the only edge he has is his knowledge of tennis. After 3-4 years he knows the patterns of the players and markets. When I was at the academy, the teaching was quite bad. He always mentioned that I didn't pick value. Perhaps he was right, but is not enough to coach like this. It needs a lot of experience and tennis knowledge to pick the right matches and moments. You can discuss if is fair to sell an "almost useless product" for 500 pounds. In the end only practice brings success, but he always told this. So I really don't blame him.
That's why I mentioned that's like a game for me. When you play Tetris every day, you will become better and better. Sultan always told that he doesn't sell a holy grail or a golden lay machine. In summary I can say that hard work is the only real edge on the tennis ladders. Beside courtsiding of course...
Hard work is laudable, but as many an athlete / cyclist has discovered, (I was briefly a clean pro-cyclist myself) if others are doping, they have no chance, and it's the same with trading against court-siders. It reminds me of the famous scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark where the swordsman has all the skills, but loses out to the gun of Indiana Jones. However well you know the players, you are not going to win long-term if someone knows who wins the 'next' point.
Less than three months ago, my blog had this to say, worth repeating since it echoes my thoughts from yesterday which is good because it shows consistency, but not so good as it suggests I'm running out of things to say:
The other day I mentioned longevity and blogging, and we have another casualty in Brulati (Bruce Lay Trading) who has decided to call it quits after 127 posts and an attempt at trading professionally. I've strongly advised in the past against anyone quitting a job to trade full-time, and Brulati's comments only reinforce that opinion:
I was lucky or let's better say hard working to get again a great job. For me it's clear that not even the best sportstrader can earn that much money in the long term. Beside I will have less stress, pension fund, more holidays and a social life. Now I know why Sultan was irritated when I told him that I quited a great job to be a sportstrader... Honestly it was one of the most stupid decisions I made. At least I could correct this mistake. The life as trader is everything, but not easy (99% are not successful!) and not well paid neither (when you consider the stress, the missed holidays and so on). The lesson I made was hard, but helpful.
Great news that Brulati has got back onto the career ladder. It's not something to be thrown away lightly, although I can understand why people would have been tempted in the pre-Premium Charge days.
The introduction of the PC has clearly made a difference, and I know from my own experience that the markets are a lot more efficient these days than they were ten years ago. Brulati also wrote:
In the end only platforms like Betfair or betting companies make profit. There is no added value in trading sports markets. If two people make a bet, one will win and the other one will lose.
Over long term both will lose, because Betfair (and the other companies) takes the margin. In the beginning "only" 6.5%, later when you are lucky and a bit successful more and more.
Perhaps there are small exceptions (for example Sultan?!) which can be successful for a short time period. Latest with a premium charge of 60% also these people have no realistic chance to make a decent income. I think this is the main reason why Sultan will quit...The Sultan is not an exception, and is nowhere near the Premium Charge, but more importantly why is Martin / Brulati even getting involved in tennis betting again? In his final 2014 post on his old blog he writes:
Trading was not successful. Mistakes, impatience and bad money money management led to a five digit loss over the year.Have those issues really been addressed? This five digit (a lot of many for many) trading loss was on the heels of this:
First of all I was scammed. I lost almost 60'000 Euros... It's still very difficult to understand how people (with a normal life) can do this. I learned that you can't trust (almost) nobody in sports trading. It's a lonely business, and everybody is looking for the own advantage.Crikey; 60,000 € is quite a wedge and makes The Sultan's £500 look like peanuts. I don't know what other readers think, but my advice to Martin is to focus on the career and recognise that you don't have, nor ever will have, an edge betting on tennis.
Honestly, and I'm not sure how to put this nicely, I don't think Martin should be involved with betting at all. I wish him the best of course, but I fear the worst. To be scammed out of thousands, and Martin needs to accept some responsibility for that, is (literally) a crime and I hope the authorities were contacted.
I feel terrible if my Cassini Service fails to make a profit, and that's a season long effort that takes a lot of work and for most subscribers costs less than £100 a season (or less than 10p a selection). I know Graeme (The Football Analyst) feels the same way too (about his selections - not mine!) Losing seasons can and will always happen, (markets are harder to beat than ever these days), but fortunately most people understand this. Scamming is a deliberate action with the intent to defraud.
How someone can steal tens of thousands of Euros and sleep at night, I have no idea. Do we have any details about this scam? It might be nice to share some details so that others are saved from potentially suffering the same fate.
This IS a lonely business with a lot of negativity out there. If someone promises something that looks too good to be true, it is.
Finally, to address the doubts about the Sultan and court-siding:
One of them was an offer from a betting syndicate, which I actually agreed to. This took place back in October. I traded for this syndicate for one month. Four other traders took part in what was a trial period, which was due to last 3 months. Unfortunately, at least 2 of those traders blew their entire allocated bank (c£2000) and the other 2 reportedly made a loss. I was told I was the only one who made a decent profit. As it turned out, October was my 2nd highest ever monthly profit for tennis alone. So I was particularly disappointed to learn that the trial was to be ended 2 months early, a lack of funds for the operation being cited, no doubt due to the losses incurred by the other traders. I don't blame them to be honest!Or from May 2013:
My trading hasn't kicked on the way I hoped that it would in the first quarter of 2013. It's partly down to what happened at the end of last season, with my involvement with the trading syndicate. It really turned my head and got me dreaming of new horizons and possibilities. Unfortunately, it also has affected my trading; my focus was knocked and frustration with my whole trading situation kicked in. This in turn, has meant that I have not wanted to blog much and even considered retiring.