Sunday, 19 February 2017


A lot can change over ten years and one month. 

On 21st January 2007, Mark Iverson very sensibly blogged:

The Heineken Cup has finished for a couple of months, the NFL season is nearly over I’m not going anywhere near Soccer or Horse Racing.
Three months later, he followed up with: 
Ah well, it had to come – my first losing day in April decided to appear on the last day of the month. It was all my own fault as I dabbled in the horse racing markets and got stung several times. I acknowledged this risk before getting involved and will look at it as an ‘investment in education’. At least I’m fully aware that I haven’t got a clue when it comes to trading horse racing and soccer.
By July 2008, the urge to get involved in horse racing was proving irresistible, as Mark posted:
So did I do the sensible thing? Of course not – instead I thought it would be a great idea to give the horse racing markets “another go”. You’ll see from my results below that I lived up to the old adage that a fool and his money are soon parted. It got so ridiculous that by the end of the afternoon I was ‘laying’ any horse I didn’t like the look of!   
August 2008:
 In a review of 2011, Mark wrote:
And the rest? Well throughout the year I’ve also dabbled with the horse racing and soccer markets but without sufficient time to devote to them it’s been a futile exercise. 
The 2012 annual review said that results had been helped by: 
cutting out involvement on sports that had a negative expectancy (e.g. horse racing & darts). 
So it came as something of a surprise when I was told that the "cricket guru" had turned his attention to horse racing. In fact, when I first saw the message, my assumption was that Bossman Megarain had lost the plot, but it turned out to be the original king of cricket trading, Mr. Iverson, who has chosen to ignore his own sound advice of many years. 

Here was the Tweet in question:
The always rational Scott Ferguson politely queried this unexpected post, asking:
What Scott really meant was "What the hell are you doing?". 

Mark's answer contains a hint of desperation. Yes, many markets are dying on Betfair, and a full-timer with bills to pay 'needs' to replace that lost income, but I don't understand how the cut-throat pre-race horse markets are going to offer a positive edge. 

Perhaps thinking that Peter Webb's trading master class was the key to an edge, Mark 'invested' £400 last year, and 'found it helpful' - perhaps not quite the ringing endorsement of the course that some were hoping for: 
Mark started trading and blogging in 2006, so we both go back a long way and we both pay the Super Premium Charge. 

Back in 2010 / 2011, we both collaborated on a few live NFL trading events, which Mark wrote about:
Trading the NFL LIVE on Sunday night turned out to be good fun and if the reader statistics are to be believed, it would appear that 53 of you joined me to watch the game. Those are pretty good numbers which gives me encouragement that quite a few of you like the idea of me giving opinions as I trade. As for the match itself, it started the way I expected with the Colts finding it difficult to break down the Jets defense and I was able to capitalise on this to end up with a medium green figure. Unfortunately, the Jets couldn’t keep up their good start but fair play to Cassini for forecasting a comeback by the home team – it ended almost bang on his pre-match prediction of a 12 point difference. If you’d like to see exactly what was said then you can review the comments at anytime by going to the post and clicking on the section under the heading. Thanks to those of you who took the time out to be there – I really enjoyed it. 
Well there’s two main reasons. Firstly, Cassini from the well respected and popular blog ‘Green All Over’ has agreed to help me co-host. By sharing the hosting responsibilities it’ll hopefully take a little pressure off me to fill the gaps whilst also providing a different outlook on what’s happening on the field. Cassini is a big follower of American sports and has a proven record so I see his input being invaluable to myself and others.
More good news is that I’ve managed to coax Cassini into covering another game next Sunday. So, if you’d like to take part then click on the link at the top of this page to register. The match in question will be the 6pm kickoff on Sunday (Buccaneers @ Vikings) which promises to be a close one so hopefully we’ll do well. As I couldn’t do this alone I’d also like to thank Cassini again for giving up his time, and it’s good to see he was able to post a fantastic result on Monday night with this result. 
Apparently I used to know what I was doing! 

Where our paths differ is that for me, trading was always a part-time (but never amateur) activity, whereas for Mark, trading became a full-time endeavour and when trading is your primary source of income, squirelling funds away for a rainy day isn't so easy and the pressure to keep finding profits is inexorable. 

Mark did very well at trading Cricket for several years, but I suspect that as markets evolved, pitch-siders moved in, more resourceful competition etc., Mark's edge gained from keeping records and being an early entrant into the market has eroded.

Yes, we should always look for new opportunities, but how logical is it that after years of self-described futility, horse racing is suddenly offering Mark an edge? 

Slim to none. There are a lot of people who trade this 'sport', presumably including some who know what they are doing with years of experience, and it's simply not rational to think that you can waltz into these markets and expect to beat this knowledge and experience. 

If "I attended Peter Webb's course" is the answer, well any edge these courses might have offered has long gone - Mark isn't the first person to attend - and it's debatable whether any edge would be given away for just £400 anyway.  

It will certainly be interesting to check in on Mark's new venture from time to time.

After scanning Marks' recent posts on Twitter, one pleasing entry was this one:
With many of Mark's followers fellow Cricket fans, it's not a surprise that sport tops the list, but it's gratifying to see that Tennis is in single digits. Perhaps one message is getting through? 

1 comment:

James said...

As his website states, "I'm not ready to give up on gambling just yet"

That's the problem with action gamblers, they just can't leave off and often they give it all back. If he was a trader rather than a "gambler" then he would realise that for him sports trading might now be a failing asset and should be dropped.

Another bon mot was "If you treated Betfair as a hobby that only paid a small amount, would you write and publish a book on your Betfair trading techniques?"

I would say, if you treated Betfair as a primary source of income that paid for your livelihood, would you be flailing around trying to relive former successes (unsubstantiated) in areas for which you struggle to find edge, should edge actually exist.

The fact that he went on one of The Tangled Webb's "courses" suggests he is not as clued up as he purports to be. Going on a "How To Push a Mouse Around A Table" course is not the stuff of PC giants.