Sunday, 19 December 2010

Back On Top

Today's postponements included the Genoa derby, where Sampdoria were identified as value by both myself and Football Elite. With the winter break starting in Italy, this game won't be played until next year now. None for five for the 'strong' draws with four going to the away team. The 'weaker' picks were profitable with one of the the three that survived the weather coming in at 3.4 - Chievo Verona v Juventus. One of the two other draw possibilities mentioned, Sochaux v Bordeaux (3.25) also came in.

Profits from the home value picks that survived the weather, winners were Lazio (2.04), Catania (1.96), Sunderland (2.28) while there were losses with Deportiva La Coruna, Osasuna and Olympique Marseille.

Two out of three winning lays this weekend in the Bundeliga with Bayer Leverkusen failing to win today at 1.49, following Werder Bremen (1.66) yesterday.

I don't often discuss specifics on P&L for reasons explained many times, but I did mention an horrific April this year in this post. The key part for those who can't be bothered to click the link is this:

To say that April was disappointing for me is, to borrow David Icke's phrase, a bit like saying that it's a littly chilly at the North Pole. The pounds came off, but more from my balance than from my body.

My second worst month ever, April was my first losing month since last April, and I suspect that's not a coincidence. In fact, three of the last four Aprils have seen losses, and when you consider that 'only' 9 of 56 months have seen overall losses, for three of them to be April suggests that a long Easter holiday at this time of year is called for. I'm beginning to wish I hadn't moaned so much about the Premium Charge. I almost miss it these days.

So April comes to a close, and I draw a line in the spreadsheet and start again, battered and bruised a little, down but not out. Handling losses is still a tough nut to crack. As much as I tell myself that I still have a very healthy balance, and try to kid myself that losses are from 'house' money, and not 'really' my money, losses still hurt. (And it really IS my money!) Losing is unsettling. Every time I have a bad run, I fear that the markets have changed and the profits aren't there any more, but every time (at least so far) I've been proven wrong, and there's no reason why this time will be any different. There will be a certain re-grouping taking place though. Yes, to win £129,000 would be nice, but as my son pointed out - £1,290 is still a lot to lose if it doesn't work out and it's time to get back to basics and rebuild a little confidence before throwing four figures around again. May will thus most likely be a quiet month.
Well, the bad run actually began in March which while it finished in the green, included a four figure loss in the days following St Patrick's Day (including one ill-considered £3k bet on College Basketball). Anyway, to cut a long story short, 296 days after that big loss, the account on Betfair is finally back to a new high. I've had long drawdowns before, but the previous longest was a 'mere' 227 days in 2007, and this one seemed even more difficult to bounce back from. May wasn't as quiet a month as I'd predicted it would be, but the Summer was, with no months showing four figure gains from June through September. Talkbet posted today that a previously successful, albeit automated, system is no longer profitable, and the markets do seem to be becoming more efficient. He wrote yesterday that
I think with the end of the year fast approaching this might well be the time to decide on where I go from here, it may well be the end of this blog, it's certainly no fun writing up losses day after day.
I hope Talkie continues with his blog, he's been around for a while now, but the attrition rate among blogs that are requested to be added to this one is, to my mind, remarkably high. I guess that many are started with the blogger full of optimism thinking that blogging will somehow 'help their discipline' but the truth is that if you are indisciplined, the fact that you are a blogger isn't going to change that. Time after time I read posts along these lines:
Following a poor weekend, not thinking straight at all, a couple of in play trades later and my trading bank is now down to £29.19 it was lower but I have recovered a little bit today,but it is shocking to looking at my spreadsheet to see that I have gone from £140 to £29 in just over four days. Whether I end up at zero and have to go and get a real job or if I recover and maybe get my bank going again we will wait and see. I know all the rules in my head and how I want to play the markets but sometimes when it goes bad I am able to block out all common sense and go straight to gambling mode. Hopefully this is something I can avoid in the future, lets see how it goes then.
How long before the blog that quote was taken from ceases to be maintained and drops off the radar? Where is there mention of the time being spent researching ideas in the search for an edge?

This is the 884th post on my blog, some are embarrassing to look back on, some not so bad, but because I don't obsess over P&L, it's not so hard to write something most days. Besides, most days are profitable - 78.4% of them over almost five years to be precise. I don't like losing. The losses can be painful when they do come along, but even when the worst of them come along, I keep it all in perspective. This is a hobby for me - winning is a bonus, and losing isn't the end of the world. In fact, in many ways, the money is secondary to the thrill of the challenge of solving the exchange betting puzzle.

The SPOTY show doesn't interest me from a betting perspective, but I was pleased to see Sir Frank Williams receive his award. His attitude to adversity is an example to us all, and the next time you take a big loss on here, remind yourself how insignificant that really is in the whole scheme of things. "[Williams] attitude to his disability is simple - it's his own fault he ended up that way so he had better just get on with it". We could all learn from that attitude. Accept the mistake, learn from it, and move on.

Finally, a quick thank you to Rod Hull whose post I came across on the Betfair Forum last night. In response to the question "Anyone know of any good betting blogs?" he very generously replied with "Start with Green All Over and go from there, that is probably the best one, or one of anyway". Good advice!


laidback said...

Hi Cassini. Been following the blog for some time now and found it very interesting. As you say, I like the fact that it isn't a P&L blog as so many which are stop getting updated as soon as the going gets tough.
One question if I may. I've been following the Bundesliga lays with interest, but when it first started out in early September your preliminary research indicated a basic system of laying odds on top league clubs in Germany, France and England at 1.3 or over. I know England and France weren't as profitable but is there any reason why you appear to have dropped them altogether?

mouldhouse said...

Congrats on getting to a new high. Shows a lot of mental toughness to go almost 300 days since reaching a new high; 99.9% would be questioning if their edge had gone, or whether they were just making a lot of small gains and the occasional massive loss (which of course a lot of traders do).

I find it interesting that you think it's easier to make money in play than take positions though - I've never gone anywhere near 300 days before reaching a new high - in fact I've never gone over 60. I'd suspect you and most traders actually work a comparatively small edge, but the amount of iterations that you can perform in one day/hour/session/event means they add up to a decent sum over the long term; but like anything with a <5% edge, you can have sustained periods where you tread water.

Rod Hull said...

Cheers for the shout mate! Keep it up!