Saturday, January 1, 2011

2010 Review

Well, wish everyone a Happy New Year, health and happiness etc etc for 2011.

Anyway, theres a small glitch in my figures for each sport, not over all figures obviously, but my excel sheet runs from Jan-Dec, when the blog year actually runs from March-March.. so I say "year review," its not actually over yet, but also I have Jan and Feb into the sports results, when that was technically last year for the blog. From Jan-March last year though was actually the hardest time since I started, I went through the 20k mark just after the New Year, then fell back down to 19.3k - 19.5k range for almost two months, confidence was shot but it picked up again towards the end of March.

Its only come to my attention writing that first bit that today is actually a Saturday, not a Sunday. You know youve lost track of the days over Christmas/NewYears when you go to do the "Sunday Blog" on a Saturday, I was full sure, full sure, it was a Sunday. Well done as ever Stephen. Anyway I'll pretend.. I'm down €50 this week so I end 2010 on 30.2k, having started on 19.5k. The bills are 7.5k per year so I'm ahead of where I want to be at 10.7k profit just for the blog. I'd like to pay the bills every year with just the blog, if it came up short the odd year it wouldnt bother me that much, and to take a rough reading I'm nearly two years through and have enough for four years already.

The most frightening thing looking at excel, and this has only dawned on me ten minutes ago, is cricket accounts for 80% of that, thats fooking massive! Obviously delighted with it and seen how important it was becoming during the second half of the year, but I didnt think it was 80%. I just ended the sheet with a note saying to put it number one, above all else under any circumstances, and not change or think about changing it. Last year I did cop that I cant bet in the first innings in limited overs, and I've stuck to that this year, its a sport I've put plenty of work into and fingers crossed I dont have to change anything with it again. Although I really dont have any set plan bar avoiding first innings, take each game as it is. But cricket alone would cover the house bills this year, to say it was an important sport would be an understatement, and going into 2011 if you dont like cricket its probably best not to read, that is if anyone does :)

My biggest disappointment for the year comes from horse racing. We all know the negatives in the sport at this stage, theres no point going through them all again, but this year has been the year its overtaken me anyway. I'll be the first to admit I wasnt putting the same amount of time and effort into it as before, but as people are moving ahead (track players) obviously I (home player) have to do more homework - and due to the quality (which I blame the BHA for) my will power went to pot. Dont put in the work, dont expect to win, no issue there and I move on. In 2008 horse racing was +14k for me, in 2009 it was just short of +5k, and now in 2010 is just below a €500 loss. The decline is fairly steady now and I think to myself, I wonder if I dont get out now will next year follow the same pattern and I'll be going into the minus thousands. On a personal level, looking at the figures and deciding to give up midway through the year has been one of my best "life" decisions, for the amount of time it took compared with the return it just wasnt worth it, and I've been far more happier and settled in the last six months having most of the day to myself and for other sports - too often I was ending the horses frustrated and with a fuzzed head, and I'm sure that was having a knock on effect to other sports, and probably personal life too naturally being in an annoyed mood isnt great, you know yourself.

Another personal improvement has been my poker, I know I dont count it on the blog, but I discovered PLO in or around April and have managed a few final tables which has been great. I'm still shite at Texas Hold'Em though. But if you enter a tournament for €20-€50 and finish up getting a four figure win its amazing, and it takes a huge amount of time to give back the winnings when you only enter a few a week. I've not played during the winter because of college but its a side sport you know, if I could win €1,000 a year it'd be great. Obviously most years wont be like this one with the run of final tables, I still have never won one btw.

Back to the blog, and the side sports have been hit and miss, the "usuals" have been good again - Boxing, GAA, Darts and I'll include Rugby even though 2010 finished with a grand total of minus €6.98, I do think for the amount of time I spent watching the Six Nations etc was it worth it but some wise fellow once said "love what you do, and you will never work a day in your life." Thats true in my case, I never think of hours/money and its plainly obvious I wont win on every sport, every day, every game. Its probably one of those things you only think about at the end of the year but sure once I enjoy the game I'm watching I dont really care, next year say if theres a cricket match and a six nations match the same day, obviously I should be doing the cricket match, but theres no reason to avoid the rugby matches when theres nothing else on.

GAA, even though a winner, has fallen way back on last year. 2009 GAA showed a profit of a few euro under 3k, this season its just over €700. I did lose the best part of €750 over two back-to-back weekends on Kildare and Kilkenny, I wouldnt take back the Kildare bet (I was there and not at a computer, and they were fierce unlucky IMO), however I'd really love to have to the Kilkenny market back again, Tipperary were all over them and I was sat here thinking "ah they'll turn it around, theyre Kilkenny FFS" I learned a lesson that day though, no betting in hope, fook it like, just take the all red and move on, act on it. I do have the rule whereby I dont go over €400 liability on any market, so that does leave me the option of letting things run - without worry of a big loss. Its like someone with a stop loss - they HAVE to go all red once that stop loss hits, but because I dont go over my set red, I could leave the market go to 1.01 before bouncing back (if it did), obviously markets can move both ways when you enter them so I'm happy enough with my stakes, thats why they never change. But yeah, I'd love to go back to that Kilkenny market and hit €50 awe-red instead of €300ish, cant remember it might have even been €350 - I'm sure I've done many fantastic things on the sport over the summer but that one market is the only one thats sticks in my head. Not because of the money, probably because I learned the biggest lesson.

Of course weve had the recession here too (IMF even came this year) and money in the markets has been light some weekends, to the extent where the market is empty, definitely towards the start of the season, it is an "Irish only" sport really. I'd still rate GAA as my second sport though, and would be fully confident of winning in a market betting against Irish people year in year out. Theres a similar story with profit on boxing, although not that much of a decline as GAA, 2009 showed a profit of 2.5k, this year its just over 1.7k. I got caught with my pants down a few times at the start of the year on Friday Fight Night, when one boxer would be 1.03 at the bell, and the judges would announce a draw, I've learned from that and moved on. Naturally I think profit would be down because of the getting rid of red constantly, you know I wouldnt class myself as a "trader" nearly all the time I'd finish a market with some form of red/or zero on an outcome, I'd only be equal green if I was confused on the result (or equal red..), but nearly every boxing market now I'd try to be green on all outcomes.

Last year my top four where horses, cricket, GAA, boxing and there wasnt much between them all. This year the order has changed around a bit and the difference is fairly big, and "specials" has replaced horse racing.. I know, specials.. but a steady four figure profit sitting at 1.2k, I dislike relying (well, not relying) on stuff like that because the market can change so easily, like this year - no X Factor bottom two, even though I called it correctly every week with Wagner. You could plan for an amount, then bam the market changes/doesnt exist anymore and youre finnish, its nice to be in profit but you know I cant see myself becoming a professional X Factor punter any time soon.

My top three losers (not including horse racing) are to be expected really. Soccer - same story then. Golf - same story then. And tennis - last year it was alright, this year has proved I'm no good. You know, what do you say, I know I'm shit at them, I knew it last year too, and stakes have been lowered greatly, but they still add up during the whole year to just over 1k - which is a disaster given I know I'm useless so why am I betting on them. If I did have one gambling new years resolution it would be to give them up completely but we all know I'm gonna have a cheeky €50 here and there. The last six months of the year has been much better for avoiding them than the first six months, again you know probably more laid back having given up horse racing, winning on cricket and thinking "feck it I dont need to bet on Tiger this week.." Obviously I lost money on the World Cup too. Theres a couple more sports to go through, darts, snooker etc but not really important enough to be bothered by them as they all cancel each other out really swinging between €200 of a difference win or lose, something to 'fill the gaps' the weeks where theres nothing else on, the Premier League (Darts) was a massive disappointment this year, but it came at a time in the year when I wasnt winning and had no bottle basically, you need plenty of bottle for darts trading IMO. The World Championships on atm have been a little disappointing too, mainly because someone is fooking miles ahead of Sky pictures.

The biggest development since I started the blog has been accounting in excel the difference between my in running bets and pre-off bets, I dont profess to be the greatest gambler of all time but I know I can pay the bills with in running sports betting, and equally, I know I'm shite at pre-off! Pre-off is such an attraction though with prices, but I really have to give it up, I dont actually mind a cheeky €50 on the footie, but betting pre-off is the most serious issue to staying profitable, it just has to be avoided. And if it wasnt for in running I'd be losing this year, and not having enough to pay the bills last year. Bottom line - I cant make pre-off work. Funny thing really, Betfair get on my nerves sometimes but I actually *need* them, more than they'll ever need me, should in running finish (although I dont think it'll ever finish), I'd be looking for a job. But I'm under no illusions here lets be honest, thats why I'm still in college, I intend to gamble for as long as it takes me through my life, I know it'll finish one day, but hopefully I'll have a few degrees and have the best chance of getting a job then, and I love gambling so the longer I can do it the longer I'll enjoy my life. I'll be 23 in June next year, I'll go for as long as I can and sure we'll see, like you know its not something I see myself doing when I'm 35, however if you asked me what I'd 'like' to be doing, well then I'd say gambling.

Obviously the blog has been fantastic, I'm always delighted when people read it and comment, I was reading somewhere the other day the average life cycle for a blog is 60 days, and in March I'll be going for two years! But at the end of the day, it isnt for anyone else, its for me - it always has to be for the person writing it - otherwise they'll get bored and bugger off. Some people are just 'bloggers' basically, before I started I used to have a diary where I'd write down stupid stuff I did, maybe if I did something great the odd time too, but mainly stupid stuff, I wouldnt write as much as I do now, I wouldnt actually write anything on the days I won. I think it just helps the mind focus writing stuff down, say I do something terrible on Wednesday, I write a blog to explain what a twat I've been, the last thing I'll then do on Saturday is the very same thing again, because I'm not gonna want to come back and say "oh, I did it again, you know the thing I said I wouldnt do.. yeah I'm a gobshite" because you dont want to have to write that. When all is said and done it really makes no difference if anyone reads or not, it has to be for the person writing it, and it helps me immensely not to make the same mistakes over and over again, I still do an awful amount of stupid things, but once I explain what a twat I am, thats it I wont do it again - at least on purpose anyway, sometimes you cant avoid a bad market.

I dont plan on changing too much in 2011, I'll just get on with life. Sure fook it like, were here worrying about winners and losers but as long as you have your health sure theres no more important thing. Hopefully it'll be a good year, I have some personal plans/goals to achieve and for gambling I want an office - atm I use the sitting room couch/TV - my shoulder is starting to get sore from leaning on it all day when we have long sporting events so a desk and a chair are top of my list. And a new set of golf clubs, I wish all my Facebook status friends good luck in their quests to end world war, world hunger and become millionaires, but yeah if I had a 9 iron that went where I wanted it to go I'd be delighted!

But anyway, I wish everyone a Happy New Year again and thanks for reading, commenting, everyone will always have different opinions on gambling but sure thats why bookies exist and Betfair was invented :)


  1. Stephen, just a note to say that I enjoyed reading the blog through the year - keep up the good work.

    On horseracing, I'm also finding the margins are getting tighter these days. I still study it a lot because of my Indo column and because I just love it but it's a lot of time for a small return. Personally, I've gotten more involved with pre-race trading which is a lot easier than traditional backing in many ways (you don't have to know anything about the horses you are trading on) but the downside is that it can get a little boring at times. Do you do any pre-race trading yourself?


  2. Cheers Wayne, appreciate it.

    I'll have to have a look at it I've never done it before, I'd say it demands a fair bit of discipline not to let things go in running or play in running then while watching it, the lure or old times..! I'll have to figure something out about the horses anyway because I love the sport too, so would like some sort of interest.

  3. Yeah great read mate. I love the blog, and good to see you doing sell well. Keep it up and best of luck for everything in 2011.

  4. Cheers, appreciate it. Same to you for 2011 :) Hopefully we all have a few winners!

  5. Best of luck for 2011 Stephen. Thoroughly enjoy reading your blog, its well written and captures the true feelings of a sports punter complete with Kildare GAA "investments"! Shame racing has taken a knock for you when its clear its a sport you are passionate about, maybe this year will be different.
    Look forward to continued reading.