Sunday, January 29, 2012


There are times in life where you are stuck by the awe of a situation, and you just have sit back and think to yourself "thats fucking amazing," Hurricane Fly today was superb, Djokovic v Nadal was epic sport, but this, this is fucking amazing - Peter Casey live on Irelands national TV station RTE giving his reaction after winning his first Grade 1:

What. A. Legend. "You cant say that on television!" Hahaha!

Anyway, its been a great week on the test and it was good that it finished a day early yesterday so I could go see Hurricane Fly today, that and watch Tiger make a bit of a balls of it this morning but sure he cant win everything. Bit of a weird feeling with England collapsing chasing 144, really wasnt expecting it, but I was against the draw mainly and level both teams so I wasnt supporting anyone really, just was expecting it to be closer thats all.

Life is always far handier when the draw goes odds on so early, 10 minutes into play on day 1 this time, I'm skeptical about laying it in subcontinent conditions but England were bowling first so went with it. Only small thing I missed out on (well maybe), a lot of people on my Twitter timeline were laying Eng at 1.2 when they came out to chase, that was a top shout and I thought about doing it because Strauss was in such bad form, as it turned out he was still there when three or four others had already gone!

I ventured over to tennis this week too, only small stakes, mainly listening to other people, but when it goes five sets the market always swings a fair bit anyway doesnt it, the final this morning (although I missed half of it) was amazing, cant describe it.

I wont be around next Sunday so I'm doing a two weeker the following week.. I'll miss the first three days of the 3rd test too so hopefully it goes five days, shame about it not going 1-1 for a decider really but sure it doesnt matter who wins youre only trading it.

I could open a can of worms on Liverpool v United but I wont (well, not open fully), booing Evra was pretty harsh I thought "Booooo, youre a victim of racial abuse, boooo" I remember thinking with ten minutes to go hopefully someone scores so we dont have to go through a replay, Suarez would have been available for a replay too so you can only imagine what we'd have to go through with the media and all that. Thankfully its over anyway, I was wondering afterwards where all the hatred in football comes from? EVERYONE hates EVERYONE, its a load of nonsense really when you think about it, especially when you look at photos like this from yesterday, I dunno what age he is but he looks old enough that he "should have" some sense. I also realise its only one out of 50 odd thousand and theres no way to stop it, but hating another player so much to do something like that without evening knowing him, I dont see the point, I dont see what it achieves, its only a game..

Sunday, January 22, 2012


Well, I'd be lying if I said this week wasnt a disappointment, I managed to get to €500 green on the England test, and end up getting -€21 in the end. Obviously given Englands rise to the top over the past year, you dont expect them to get under 200 both knocks, it was the second time around that did the damage, but sure c'est la vie.

I thought it was shaping up to be a really nice test early on and the market was just ticking away to get against Pak when Eng lost a crucial wicket..

It was never going to be a really massive test after that, but I was still happy enough with this..

Before ruining it by laying Pak when England came in to bat second time around - I'm not particularly bothered by it too much because I had planned to do it for a while during the game, Pak be 100-150 ahead, England get 400-450 and Pak chasing 250-300 would never be easy, added you'd probably get extra downward pressure on the draw price.. so I dont mind it too much, I was just wrong and sure theres nothing you can do about it just take it on the chin, the only thing is its disappointing to get up at that hour every morning for no return you know.

There is an argument I over-staked on the lay, it was mainly after Strauss had went (because he hasnt been scoring massive runs while England have been doing well anyway) but a little before that too, however, I've always done that - if I was €1.6k green the next number put in would probably be €2k - because youve got so much leverage and being ahead of the market, at one stage I could have had my book at -€2 Pak & Draw and €2,000 on England, getting 1000/1 when England are 5ish/6ish, even if that goes wrong theres still plenty of options. Obviously its annoying when it goes wrong but when it goes right I end up with €2k and €3k equal green books, just accept being wrong this time and sure life goes on.

I've watched all the Saffer games, done one of them and it ended well to at least make it a winning week and keep moving forward, didnt do todays game because Super Sunday was excellent viewing!

Kitty Dillon scoped wrong on Wednesday so never ended up running in Thurles on Thursday, I had planned to go on the Tuesday anyway and decided to skip a day on the test, so when I found that out I decided ah sure I'll just get up and do the test now, that was the day I turned +€500 into -€21.. that could have worked out slightly better..!

Sunday, January 15, 2012


What a week for comebacks, Paul Scholes and Thierry Henry both scoring, but while everyone was fawning over Henry (although you couldnt have wrote a better script), they missed the most important thing to happen..


Anyway, quiet week on the trading front because we only had two international matches on during UK time, theres plenty on Aussie time but I dont regret ignoring most of it this year, India seem to be making a show of themselves in Aus anyway and the market was pretty much dead after day 1. So I'm stuck with Saffers v Sri Lanka, I dont really like SL for some reason, I remember last year I was €800 green on one of the England tests against them and still only manged €25 profit in the end, theyre very hard to form a solid opinion on.

The 1st ODI was more or less a waste of time with them on 13/6, FFS!

Before that, or during that, I was happy enough with my position, it was lucky to have the €75 leverage after the 2nd wicket went in the end to finish with zero, but sure I cant help teams being absolutely crap on a particular day you know, shit happens.

The 2nd ODI was a bit more like an Indian conditions match with the market sticking between the 1.05 and 1.3 range, and topping up after a wicket worked OK if you could trust the batsman coming in. I'm looking forward to Pakistan v England in Dubai on Tuesday for some proper action, just a shame its a 5-30AM start, I dont necessarily mind getting up, its just the psychological aspect of it that bothers me. Its difficult to get up at 5-30AM and not have a position because you (or I do anyway) tend to think 'I didnt get up at this hour to do fuck all' instead of waiting and picking a moment like you would normally during the day. Just have to get over that 'I'm up, I have to do something, I got up for this reason' idea and try not to just click for the sake of it - or to stay awake! Fingers crossed the market will be lively, no 1.01 trains and the pitch isnt a highway and were getting up to look at 600 v 600. From memory England v Pakistan a summer ago was pretty decent, so hopefully it'll be good to watch.

A personal thing that might get in the way is my horse Kitty Dillon is entered (and got in) to Thurles on Thursday, I'll miss a day if I go, its so hard to decide because its over 2M and that doesnt suit, I wont be backing her until she gets at least 2M4F but it'd be terrible to miss it if she actually did pull it out and win. That Mullins horse that won the first at Navan today comes out so thats a help, she wont be held up as much as last time we learned that, I'd still be happier with a longer trip but sure we'll learn something about her I suppose. An England and Kitty Dillon double next week will do sure, I dont ask for much..!

Sunday, January 8, 2012


First week of January over and done, and no damage, success! The Saffer v Lanka test was a bit of a struggle really, but I missed day 2 and that turned out to be the most important day with the declaration, it hasnt been a good series, sometimes teams dont gel for trading for me, for whatever reason - I remember last year whatever I finished green on Aus v Eng I gave back a day later on Saffers v India. Happy enough to get €86 and not lose and get the series over and done with to be honest.

The darts has moved to the BDO now which is on BBC, anything on terrestrial TV is alright for speed, I reckon you'll still get sniped on the red button though - I think. Standard isnt as good as the PDC but its not terribly awful, its something that might keep things ticking over anyway because theres only two games of cricket next week.

For the most part as I said in the 2011 review, most of January and February I'll be trying to keep my head down, out of trouble and keeps things relatively simply - with lower stakes etc, hopefully it'll be an improvement on the last two years. It'd be nice to get off the a good start of the year on the blog, for once!

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 Review

Well, where to start..! I was doing the #2011Highs on Twitter the other day and completely forgot some massive moments which were great at the time, my brain has officially turned into a 'traders' one and I now forget what has happened ten minutes ago! But its been a good year in terms of life in general and the P&L, its hard to know what to put in down to really because there have been a good few changes which only really took effect fully this year, after last year being such a struggle going through the ordeal of losing horse racing off the portfolio which went from being number one to nothing at all.

At the start of January the blog was sat on €30,261.72 and now sits on €58,259.99, which is an increase of €27,998.27, so €28k give or take - which is well over my "target" of €7.5k each year.

I dislike using the word target, because its not really a "target" you could use goal or aim or whatever, its just the figure that if I were not to make it, or even come close to it say under €7k, I would consider stopping, so I dont really know what word to use to describe it because I dislike targets in general because it leads to the idea that you HAVE to do something every day, which isnt my style I like to pick and choose moments, but anyway. The house bills more or less come to €6k-ish or thereabouts (average 3 bedroom semi) so its linked in to that figure a bit.

So anyway the changes, as I said it was the first full year without horse racing, which was different to say the least, you get so used to the daily routine. But giving up has improved my life tonnes with loads more free time and obviously not having to deal with the on course boys being miles ahead every day which is the reason for stopping in the first place, I'd only be sitting here struggling and frustrated at some point each afternoon, which naturally impacts on other sports too, and that was probably the best decision I've ever made on Betfair.

It was also the first full calendar year that I wasnt in college, so that helps being around whenever the games are on etc and not having to miss either lectures or a day of a Test match or anything else that might be on. I remember sitting there in 2010, I might not remember sporting events now but I remember this conversation as if it happened yesterday, I was sitting beside one of my close friends Tomas in Business Finance after getting up at 5AM to trade India v Australia and then headed in to the lecture at 1ish, it was horrible and I knew I really didnt want to be there, I remember we were talking about it and not listening, I wanted to focus on my trading and he wanted to travel Australia, and here we are a year later and I've done everything I've wanted and he has flights booked.

If things were to ever go tits up I do have degrees/certs to fall back on obviously being there four odd years, and theres also courses I want to do too in the future, but it was just at the time and not what I wanted to be doing with my life. Realistically in Ireland at 23 it'd be tough for me to find a job to be on €28k a year, without the added travel expenses and everything, there is the argument that it does leave a hole in the CV if you like but I dont see a problem doing what I do, if some people want to take a view its up them and none of my business, if someone sits there in a job interview and says 'you didnt really do that' its probably more the fact that they cant do it and havent got the first clue about trading, you know if people want to have that perception thats fine, you cant change the way people think, but I'm happy with what I do and if someone has a problem to put it bluntly its not my issue.

I was down in the IFSC at the start of 2010, I'm not sure if the exchange shop is still open or not, but it was only down there I started using Gruss, reason being I have a Mac and had to get all the relevant stuff to run it so I never had the option to experience the trial. 2011 has been the first full calendar year with Gruss, although I had it for most of 2010, I have to say its been more use on sports betting rather than horse racing because of the delay, I did go on one of those course thingys to learn fully what it can do, even if I dont use half the things, at least knowing of them and more education can only help really. Its hard to gauge how helpful Gruss was or whether it was just me improving the cricket trading because I'm a year more wiser on it and so on, but being as quick as you can with positions naturally helps - especially for redding out, and since I've started using Gruss I genuinely think I'm ten times better at not losing and getting rid of poor positions quicker/better.

Bit of a daft change, but its the first year I've had a desk, sort of an office space if you like, and a event planner. Might think that 'ah sure its viewing at TV it doesnt matter' but I've found that it helps a lot, just makes the mind a bit sharper and a bit more reactive to situations sitting at a proper desk, as opposed to slumping on the couch or something. Having my own space helps too because it just makes life more handy and not having to move anything each evening is nice, especially when you have two computers which I now have too. I cant speak highly enough for having an event planner or a calendar - it might sound daft but penciling in events/games and having a schedule is pretty awesome IMO, I'm never at Betfair for no reason, I touched on this a fair bit in a post on discipline a few weeks ago, I think its helpful to always have a reason to sit down at the desk more so than just sitting down to kill time and see what happens, because more than likely you'll open a position on whatever is on at the time of sitting down, and obviously the number of people who can do all sports is fairly small I imagine, so its good to specialise and be organised.

Going forward, I dont think I'll reach €28k next year, I think that England v India series was ridiculously easy (in Betfair terms) and that bloats figures, winning €2k+ on an ODI wont happen a lot..! Test matches will remain the flagship and I dont see that changing, I dont see much changing really unless Betfair changes, but even last year when I had to swap horse racing for cricket I still managed to make €10.7k which was ahead of the "target" and I dont see any reason for changing the "target" each year.

I suppose theres an argument of liquidity dropping a small bit on my two side sports, boxing and GAA, Prizefighter which brought in four figures a year has gone by the wayside with them changing the layout to have the draw live before the fights, a nightmare for getting money into markets. And I suppose the early GAA markets could suffer because of economic issues in Ireland, its hard to know with that one really as its only a summer sport - its still really the only market where I could find myself hung, drawn and quartered in a position with no way of getting out because of liquidity, but thats something that I know before it starts, so at least I can go into it with that in mind and its never too bad when youre expecting it.

Other than that I'll just get on with it and sure it is what it is, good things and bad things will always happen. In the more immediate future I'll be trying to get through to March without any harm as thats been the most awkward time of the year for a while now, I dont know why, I spend a lot of time thinking about it during the time, I have no records of early 2009 because my Grandad was in hospital at that time so I wasnt involved in anything (he survived thank god!), then started the blog in March after starting back with €100 to get back into things really, I didnt really plan on still being here three years on but here we are.. I always kept a daily diary of things I did that worked, didnt work, things I wanted to work on, change, whatever, so blogging comes naturally rather than a chore you know. But anyway, I can waffle for Ireland too completely went off the point there, in 2010 I went into late January with €20k-ish or so (I lost exact records after dropping the laptop) and fell back to €19.3k-ish before March got things going up again, 2011 I started on €30.25k and the last week in February was sat on €30,156.31 so two months of faffing about really, I remember saying at the time 'ah fuck this I'm going on a two month holiday next year' but things are a bit different now so I'll give it a go and sure if I'm still here going into March with less or around the same figure I might see about just holidaying next year, thats probably something I'll always say that never happens.

Other than that, perfect time to say thanks to anyone who reads and comments, I appreciate it, as I said I always kept a diary anyway so the only difference is its online and sure people can read it if they want and ignore it if they want its up to them and each to their own. Its three years now and I havent any adverts or started selling something so at least thats something! I actually wanted to say this but didnt know where to put it without sounding twat-ish but I have absolutely no interest whatsoever in adverts or selling tips or anything like that at all, its just a personal trading blog for craic and thats the way its going to stay. Hopefully something (even one thing!) I've said as helped someone along the way and sure at least I've havent punched you in the face so it could far worse..

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year

Well, hope everyone had a good Christmas and New Years. I managed to beat my chest infection and make it to Leopardstown so it was all good here, ventured down to Limerick on the 27th to see the new horse Kitty Dillon make her racecourse debut in the bumper, she finished 7th, but it wasnt so bad - her p2p and schooling races were over 3M and her breeding suggests she wants 2M6F+ too, wasnt really expecting a win you know yourself most bumpers are only 2M and sure we learned a bit about her anyway in that she wont be held up so much next time, she seemed to settle grand which was the reason for that anyway.

Being out in the real world on the 28th I missed all the amazing scenes taking place online, I was stood in the stands watching Voler La Vedette hose up unbeknown to the fact Betfair Towers were in complete meltdown! Obviously not being online at the time I have a more light hearted view of the situation, from what I have been told €25 million popped up at 29 (28/1) about 15 to 20 seconds into the race and stayed there until they reached the line, obviously everyone backed it at some stage, theres a video on YouTube of it..

You see there your man had €100,000+ green on her passing the post, so I assume a lot of people had big payouts. However, (again to say not being online at the time I have a more light hearted view so dont kill me) realistically every reasonable thinking and experienced person on Betfair would know it was a mistake and that there arent people sitting there with €600M+ sitting in an account, so even backing it (I would have lumped too) surely the thought process was theres a fair chance of a void market, and theres been an awful lot of fuss over, what in added hindsight, seems an obvious conclusion. Going back to the idea no one has €600M+ in their account, Voler absolutely hosed up by 4L+ and took the lead cruising before jumping the last, there was untold millions of "free money" available yet it wasnt all taken, simply because people dont have those sort of funds. And if everyone together hasnt got the funds to back it, no one person has the funds to lay it.

Anyway, being at the races I've been unable to take the two test matches on this week seriously, and both ended up being a small loss, trying to do something part-time always ends up arse ways, especially when its a test match and requires 6+ hours a day, but never mind thats something I already know..! I've been watching the darts too which have been great, unfortunately its the same craic as the Premier League and someone is miles ahead of the clock, which makes trading virtually impossible, but sure its good viewing anyway without a position, I presume I'll have to knock darts off the 2012 schedule completely but I'm going to do a 2011 review some time next week so I'll see then. ATM its looking like just cricket, GAA, boxing and a bit of 'specials' betting for 2012.

Hopefully anyway things will return to a bit normality next week and I'll be online more, but even then I'll miss the 2nd day of the Saffer test due to my Grandads birthday. It hasnt been a great series trading wise anyway so not much harm done and most of the next while will be waiting around for England v Pakistan I think!