Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Another One Bites The Dust

Trading legend Mark Iverson announced yesterday that after 12 years of full-time trading, the only laying he would be doing in future (at least trading related) would be the one-time act of laying his mouse down. 

Mark and I go back a long way, successfully co-hosting real-time trading sessions on a couple of NFL games back in September 2011, as Mark wrote at the time:
Overall, the first game covered in the NFL trading room received positive feedback. This is encouraging and although typing when trading can be distracting, I do enjoy speaking with others when a game is on. It makes you realise that there are other people who do this too! 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.
I'm somewhat in awe that Mark was able to make a full-time salary for so long, given that Betfair's Premium Charge has been with us since 2008, although in its earliest manifestation of 20% it was manageable. 

The writing was really on the wall when the 40% / 50% / 60% penalties were announced in June 2011. Although I still had a few months to go before I would pass the threshold of lifetime winnings and be eligible to pay this new tax, it was apparent that long-term winners were no longer, as the Betfair slogan used to say, welcome. 

By the time I reached the threshold in October 2012, I'd realised that the days, or more often nights, of in-play trading were over and focused my efforts on establishing a more sustainable betting style.

Full-time trading was never more than a fleeting thought. Although for a few years (2008-2011) my net income from trading matched that of my full-time job, I was only too aware that markets change, regulations change and with Betfair being the only viable exchange, I would be totally at the mercy of one platform.  Plus there were plenty of hours after work and at weekends when I could trade on the side, and a regular job isn't just about the paycheck itself. There are other significant benefits to full-time employment such as your pension, paid time off and gaining experience can pay off handsomely in the later years of your career as you move up the ladder with the pay / package differential getting larger between each rung.

Mark decided to go with being a full-time trader, hitting the 'super' Premium Charge threshold in May 2014. By December of that year he appeared to be questioning himself, writing:
2014 has been a year of 2 halves; the first 6 months contained a flurry of big events, big wins and record months whilst the second has been a story of grinding days out, living with increased premium charges and contemplating life away from Betfair. As we approach the beginning of a new year I’m probably more uncertain about what the future holds than I’ve been for some time. In short, things have become a bit of a struggle. Okay, I knew things were going to change, and yes it’s pretty much panned out the way I thought it would, but what I hadn’t fully appreciated was how much my motivation to keep going would come into question. Is it time to move on?

Mark was also the subject for one of this blog's all-time most popular posts back in 2012, a post that is worth reading if you've not seen it before, if only for the comments! Good luck in the future Mark, and credit for finding a way forward for another seven and a half years but I wonder how many full-time traders remain on the Betfair platform these days?  The Forum used to - at least on occasion -  be inspirational, and it's where I first became aware of the significance of psychology in betting and the related inefficiency of markets, but nowadays there's nothing that I see that's of interest. 

Mark is quite right in saying that the markets have changed. Even if I were interested in trading again, the money is generally not there these days to justify it, and it's apparent that courtsiders are everywhere these days and it's impossible long-term to overcome that kind of a negative edge. I'm old enough to remember when NHL and MLB games would have a decent amount of money for in-play trading, but it hasn't been this way for years. With the amount of time you need to spend trading in-play, it's just not worth the time. Bet-and-forget is far more efficient, and less stressful! 

Fortunately, while making profits slowly isn't as exciting, it is at least sustainable and with playoff games and Finals almost every day right now, it's an exciting time of the year for Draw followers.

The National League Regional Finals were played at the weekend and the strong recent record for the Draw in these matches continued with the Dorking Wanderers v Ebbsfleet United game ending 2:2 with the hosts equalising in the 10th minute of stoppage time before going on to win in extra-time.

Since 2013, the Draw in the North / South Finals has an ROI of 106% with 10 Draws from the 18 games (there were none in 2021):
The Europa League Final last week was also a winner for the second consecutive year with Rangers and Eintracht Frankfurt playing out a 1:1 Draw. At least one of you was on this one with me and hopefully many more.

The National League playoffs began with a Draw at Notts County yesterday, with another late equaliser as Grimsby Town tied the game up in after six minutes of stoppage time.   

1 comment:

Mulldog said...

The partial end of an era with Mark calling it a day.