Been working on some other projects of late, on of them is Punt Pod. As the highly creative name suggests, its a free podcast where we chat sport and specifically punting on it. We do have some guests lined up too, with a focus on those that love a bet and ideally a beer. Some of the guests are famous, some will be and some not at all, but should be some fun to hear their stories. We will be doing our (both co-hosts) best bets each pod and thanks to TopSport.com.au we have $100 each to put on our best of the pod with all proceeds going to a charity each quarter. We’re still looking for the first charity to be the beneficiary of our millions of winnings. If you have a charity that you would like to offer up please contact us at:
After the anger subsided, I felt relieved, finally, the bubble burst and I lost. Not to say I hadn’t lost on random games in the last few months, but week on week, month on month I was just stacking it up. The pressure was building on me, I was getting erratic and I knew it. I bought a bunch of books, of all 10 titles I bought “What I learned losing a million dollars” by Brendan Moynihan jumped out at me. Almost as if I knew I was getting wild and wanted to help protect what I have achieved in this first 9 months of trading.
It’s not as if I wanted to lose, but it was inevitable, the way in which I lost it though was avoidable and that’s where the anger came from. I remember when I used to come home early from a poker session sometimes and Bec would know usually I had done my balls. “Did you play bad or did run bad”? she would ask. Knowing that if I lost playing bad I’d be upset with myself. In fact, when I had played great poker and just got unlucky I was rarely upset (on the back end of a 4 month break even stretch those sessions started to take their toll too but for 99% of the time I was fine). It was the bad play where I used to relive the hand countless times and think about how or what I should have done better. I think its the fact that the mistake is often so elementary and one you’ve made before that pisses you off.
Over confidence and the “invincibility cloak” activated. Really that’s all I can put it down too, the fact that I started to believe I was going to be able to dig myself out of anything. Everything I’ve touched has turned to gold of late and I started getting loose. What started as a small investment with some hedges in place on Mexico against Chile turned into a monster $3,000loss after I compounded the error by trying to buy my way out of trouble. It wasn’t just the fact I was betting where I have no edge, but I chased, tut tut, naughty boy.
Money lost, nothing lost, confidence lost everything lost. It’s amazing how quickly confidence comes and goes. With those errors came back questions about my lack of judgement in the moment, as well as concerns on discipline and abilities to learn from my mistakes. These were issues I’ve dealt with firstly in poker but trading sport too. I’ve always considered myself a very astute bankroll/ exposure limit manager. I remember seeing people in for $1500, $2000, $3000 in a $2/$3 game of cards and wonder where their limit was. I mean, those games don’t run deep enough that you can ever get that sort of money back in a session, not to mention you ain’t thinking right when you that far down the well. I always limited myself to 2 buy-ins per session with a third available if the game was crazy hot and there were whales throwing good money after bad. In fact I saw it as a big edge I had over my competitors on the felt. They didn’t know how not to lose. By that I mean when they lost, they lost big, when I lost, I lost small. The same principle is helpful in sports too in my opinion.
One quick war story, the one that got away. Missed a big payday the other night, I was fucking spewing. I had a theory that seemed fine but sadly the theory didn’t play out in practice. I’ve attached some screenshots so you can see how things progressed. The short of the long was I had a nice green level book in the Manly v Penrith game a couple of weekends ago. Manly scored probably their 4th try to go out by 20 early in the second half. At Brooky, 20 in front, Penrith playing pretty average, but still, 35 mins to go. Haven’t seen this volume before, but someone comes in and lumps on $25,000 at $1.06 on Manly. Penrith get a scrum inside attacking 30 and I decided to lay $5,000 of the now $12,000 left with some of my green, Mansour over in the corner. When the margin got back to 10 and Manly got 2 repeat sets I decided to hedge at $1.10. Manly seemed to have settled to me and I picked up a few ticks, if they went over in the 4th set, prices would be $1.02. They didn’t score and although I had plans to re-enter, that wasn’t practical as the liquidity isn’t there like it was when the person lumped at $1.06. I hedged for $1,000 profit but Penrith went on to score 27 unanswered points in 35 mins to win the game and I missed out on $3,000 of green. Dirty. Mind you, not as dirty as the backer at $1.06, literally from the moment he backed them, Manly never scored another point.
I’m running hot at the moment. It’s been that good that I’m expecting every game or every weekend to be the weekend where it all turns to shit. Weirdly plays on your mind when you’re running so hot. It’s a battle in my head of not getting too cocky, thinking I’m invincible and not missing spots through fear of having losing bets. Weird one, been through it with poker too, the mind is a fucked up thing at times, pessimistic when winning and losing, weird.
Was a nice solid return to work this week, after giving $20,000 to someone in the Adelaide Hills I’ve never met before. Could have been a $5,000+ weekend this weekend but I butchered the fuck out of the game yesterday. I liked the Knights + but the Tariq Sims news spooked me. My ties to the team growing up also mean I need to be doubly sure when I pull the trigger in Knights games. I sat it out and traded it live in play instead. Fucking horror show my book was by the end of the game. I think if Knights won it was -$2,600 and if Eels won -$1100. Fair to say I was very lucky the last try wasn’t scored, saved me $1,500. My timing was just fucked, I flipped my book twice and it was close to the worst time I could have, brutal.
Most people know that I’m not convinced on the whole ‘kids thing’, when I was a lot younger I thought it was a good idea. As time goes by it scares me if I’m honest. I’ve heard both sides of the argument and at this stage I’m 60/40 towards “hell no”. In order to see if I’m any good at looking after another life, we got a dog. He’s pretty cool, makes me laugh, but the little fucker just loves pissing and shitting everywhere, should have called him Nate Myles. At least babies wear nappies, thats one tick in their column.
Another very pleasing period has the graph going up at 90 degrees. NRL has been really flourishing early, I’m averaging $297 profit per game if I can maintain that pace (not sure if I can) will be a great winter. I feel very in tune with the sport, making a lot of really great decisions pre and in game. I haven’t tracked it but guessing; I’d say 25%/75% pre vs. in play. Even though it’s super muggy, I’ve been occasionally using the ‘cash out’ feature to my advantage. All the math freaks (@Palma) will lose their mind over that statement. Although it is a bit of an oxymoron, sometimes you have additional information during the game, that the in play algorithm doesn’t (i.e. injuries, weather changes). For this reason I think there is some edge in using that cash out feature, sparingly. My first preference is to lay it off on Betfair, sometimes those markets aren’t available on there though.
AFL hasn’t started so well, I’ve been scratching and scraping together some money in matches to limit the damage, but hasn’t been the best start. I think your perspective is important though, I know the systems in place there are strong as fuck. When AFL does start pulling its weight the upside is rather exciting. As I say, depends on your perspective, I think if other areas were struggling, be a tougher pill to swallow. AFL is just experiencing some variance, she’ll come good.
I’ve had more middles than Malcolm of late, still nothing, 0 from my last 23 +EV middles. It is starting to shit me to be honest. I think what tilts me the most; if I let the clearly wrong line run its course I’d be a millionaire by now. My middling woes couldn’t have been better summed up, than missing a 24 point middle by 5 goals in the VFL on the weekend. Funnily enough, I worked with a connection from Twitter to get set, each of us owning 50% of the middle. He bet at WA TAB in store, while I drove 35 mins across the border to get on in store at NSW TAB. We got great numbers and good prices, but again not even close. Pretty funny, we both bet $2k each, never met before, just get those good vibes off each other and each put trust in one another. His bet won and he shipped me the cash right away, I guess thats one of the ‘pros’ of putting yourself out there with blog etc, connections all over the place.
Savings account is up over $30k. Its nice to have the life roll growing steadily, even with week to week expenses. I’m hoping by the end of the football season to have the savings account over $70k. I do have one person who has some cash invested with me, they are entitled to a portion of my profits, I’m aiming for a 100% ROI by September. I still feel very comfortable that I can achieve that. I have personally guaranteed the investment, meaning at a minimum, come September, they will have their initial investment returned to them.
Thinking about going to Uni next year. I think I want to study to be an architect, any architects out there please ping me on social media or on here, would love to chat to you about it.
I’d like to leave you with a quote that stuck with me. With Kobe’s retirement came the many tributes and quotes from Kobe over his career. One I really liked was “I learned not to get too high and not to get too low”. I’d say I’m guilty of doing both of those things at times. I’m working on not being so much that way, seems pretty important for future sanity.
At the moment I’m posting when ever I want. I was doing it weekly, then was going to drop back to monthly but instead I’ll just post when I want to, no set timing. Considering I’m up and rolling at the moment I decided to go again. I did want to show off the new trading kit too. Delivered and installed last week, she’s a beauty.
The one that got away. Although results wise I picked up a nice net profit, there were a few games where I was left thinking “what if”. AFL ripped my nut sack out, I took the Kangaroo’s minus and ended up with huge CLV on that bet. I had a middle there also, needing the Roo’s between 32-39, up 42-0 I was in the queue waiting for the paying signal. I jumped to the Sharks v Titans and by the time I went back, the Demons were in front 50-58, “what the fuck has happened here”? The cunts didn’t cover, they nearly lost for fucks sake, taking with it another +EV middle. Think that’s 0 from my last 13. Was a little down on AFL over the weekend, but left dreaming of fistfuls of cash.
My success in the NRL rolled on this week. I missed a few spots, but I can’t complain, not only am I netting profit, but I’m beating lines and totals by some way and that bodes well. Good to have some sounding boards to chat to on Twitter. It’s the first full season punting on NRL where I chat to another bunch of fiends before I load up. Generally, I get a feel for the game and look to expose books in-play. Sometimes the algorithm they use is just way off. It just doesn’t account for some things that are crucial in my humble opinion.
Dabbled in some other markets I rarely touch. The NBA stuff was purely ‘arbing’ some games to rack up points in a current VIP Betfair competition. It worked out well, in the last week I doubled my points from 20k to 40k (cash value of around $200 per 10k points). In that time I managed to make $60 or so in the ‘arbs’ after commission, so well worth while. I layed Spieth at $1.30 right before he put it in the piss twice, so that was pleasing. The new mission control centre had its first foray into the horse racing markets too for a small net profit.
As I mentioned the new cockpit has been delivered and installed. I traded less than 15 races, however being able able to see so much more of the ladder length ways and viewing up to 9 runners at once compared to 3 was powerful. The sample is too small to be sure it will have a positive effect yet, but signs are good. Being a new environment, there is some adjusting to get used to, but once settled in I get the feeling it will pay for itself pretty quickly. I’ve thrown some pictures in below for you to check out.
Footy is back and not a moment too soon. This is always a good time of year on the punt and if the first handful of rounds is anything to go by, I’m on track for my biggest haul yet. I’m certainly more skilled than I was 12 months ago and my bankroll is larger too, so good signs. My results could easily be 2 or 4k better as I’ve had a number of middles now that haven’t hit the fuckers. Regardless, this has been a great start and I’m really looking forward to moving through the rest of the seasons in both codes.
Lady luck has been a good girl lately. Last week a couple of calls were big swings to me and I’m not sure I didn’t get the “rub of the green” on both to be honest. The first one was in the Broncos v Cowboys thriller at Suncorp. I won’t describe what happened as I’m sure most saw it (watch here if you didn’t). The Thurston no try and ensuing field goal was a $3.2k swing. Think my book was something like -$1800 Cowboys and +$1400 Broncos, was a roller coaster of emotions that last 10 minutes. I’m in a group chat with a bunch of my mates from school, they’re all Broncos supporters. I think I said some things that I didn’t mean about “loving the Broncos, Queensland & Milford”, but lots of silly things are said in the heat of the battle. That Milford is pretty handy though.
The other decision that went my way was in the Raiders v Titans game. There was a dubious decision after the siren in that one that netted me about $500 extra dollars. I guess the real difference with that swing was my book was green on both results (I couldn’t lose), I had layed the Raiders at $1.03 for a bit of comedy green and it paid dividends when the Titans crashed over in the dying stages. One of my mates, a long suffering Raiders fan had them as the last leg of a few multis, poor prick. As he often says “that’s the Raiders”, jokes aside, they are a good looking outfit, love that Austin bloke, must be right in contention for origin you’d think.
AFL has started well, except for Richmond those pricks. This side is so painful to me as I really try to like them and love them. I want them to do well, Bec and her family go for them, her father is the biggest fiend for the Tiges and the grin on its head when they’re going well is infectious. Doubt there is many AFL fans that wouldn’t love to see them get a flag. Remember the “encouragement award” at school and club sports? Thats Richmond FC, every year. The weekend just gone against Collingwood was a new low and my hatred for them reached a new high. How the fuck these pricks lost that game I’ll never know, but they did and I was left with nothing but hope that they all died in a plane crash on their next away game. They were involved in a heist on my overs bet the week before with Carlton too as that missed by half a point. I got reimbursed by Bet365 with the epic promo they have running at the moment (Footy Bonanza), but thats not the point. I can’t forgive moments like Riewoldt marking 40 out on a 45 degree angle deciding to play on, snap, kick the fat side of the footy and score nothing. Go back and kick a drop punt, cunt. Then those two big retards Hampson & Casboult kicking behinds from 20m out right in front, death to the infidels.
Racing is on its last legs. Its sad because I have worked a lot of things out and it feels like its close to being a profitable trading market for me. The old saying goes “men and woman lie, numbers don’t” and at this stage the numbers are telling a horror story. I did some filtering the other day and found that I’ve lost about $8k lifetime trading horses. If you crack it, that sort of money can be recovered very quickly, I can’t continue to throw good money after bad though. Sooner or later you have to pull the pin and realise when you’re beat. I still have one good crack left in me and there are some markets where I perform well, I could find myself sticking to that, I’ll keep everyone posted.
New cock pit is on its way, exciting times. I have no real clue of the power of what I bought but people much nerdier than me tell me this computer I’ve bought is “a beast”. All I know is, I’m going to have 6 monitors going at once and that is going to be fucking awesome. With the help of my bestie and builder extraordinaire Tye Christensen from TCC Homes (shameless plug) it will be wall to wall action. No more worrying about lack of screen space, I’ll be able to have sport, Excel, Geeks Toy and PornHub all open at once now, no more having to play favourites. Pictures to come after its all installed.
I think it’s time for a FAQ type post. I’m often telling people what I do, I can tell that for the most part, its hard to grasp verbally. Maybe written with some pretty pictures will help people to get their heads around it. Hopefully I can dispel some some of the common beliefs that just aren’t right along the way too.
Q. What is sports trading?
A. Sports trading is trading the fluctuations in prices before and during the event. Trading the movements of the odds allows you to build whats called “a book” or ledger. Much like a bookmaker builds a book in any of the events they take bets on, sports traders can build their book by backing or laying a particular runner in an event.
Q. What is lay betting?
A. When I “lay a bet”, I’m essentially playing bookmaker. This means someone has a bet with me on a particular runner in an event and if that runner wins, I need to pay out the person the worth of the bet. If the runner loses I keep the amount bet by the person, just like a bookmaker would.
Q. Whats the difference between what you do and a bookmaker?
A. There are subtle differences, but ultimately there are a lot of similarities to what we do. The biggest difference is obviously the volume, solo sports traders like myself have much smaller bankrolls than your big corporate bookies. As such, the size of the bets taken and placed are much smaller. I’m able to dictate from the get go, how much risk I have on any given trade. Like bookmakers though I can adjust that risk before and during the match.
Q. So you’re just gambling for a living?
A. Well, in short, yes. What makes the proposition different from a few mates having a bet on the footy each weekend though is the ability for me to hedge my position during the event. I often have a number of chances to limit my risk while the match is on, or, guarantee profits no matter the outcome of the event. Check out the screen grab from Betfair on a trade done in the 2011 French Open.
Q. Trading the stock market would be less risky, right?
A. This is a massive myth. I’d say they carry equal risk, if you buy shares you are making a bet that the value of those shares will rise in value. No one knows, unless you’re insider trading, that would be like fixing in the sports trading world, but that topic is for another day. I’d go as far to say that any investment is a gamble, some bigger than others, but you think the people who had a total of $140 billion invested in their saving accounts during the great depression saw that investment as a “gamble”? Of course not, it was “as safe as houses”. Speaking of houses, do you think the people that bought “sub-prime” homes in the US before the property bubble bust in the mid 2000’s thought they were gambling? No, it was a sure thing, its property. There are no “sure things” when investing at any level.
Q. How do you know what will happen in an event?
A. I don’t, no one knows, but based on my knowledge of how prices move in the market and what might be “more likely” to happen I can take positions before or during a match. Let me give you an example, lets say you look at the form of a race and see that out of the 8 runners, one of the runners has lead in every one of its previous races, meanwhile, non of the other runners have ever lead. You could make a fair estimation that this runner will lead again and place a back bet on the runner, expecting it to shorten in price the further it goes along in front. At a certain time in the race you can place a lay bet on that horse either removing liability or creating a hedge across all of the runners (like the Nadal example earlier).
Q. Do you use any specific tools to trade with?
A. I use a program called Geeks Toy which is designed for sports trading. There is a number of these about, some good, some not. A bunch of guys I know just use the Betfair interface though and they are very successful traders. So you don’t need expensive kit to start off trading, just a smartphone/ computer, internet and maybe a calculator.
Q. Don’t you wish you had security of knowing what you make every week?
A. I’d be lying if I said there isn’t a part of me that would love that. But at the same time, I don’t see employment or your own business as anything that is 100% fail proof either. In fact, starting a business is a huge gamble in itself. I had coffee with a friend of mine recently that has gone balls out to start his own business, hes liquidated everything and I mean everything, houses, cars, the lot. On top of that hes in debt, this guy will likely make it happen because thats the kind of guy he is, but still, there are risks attached to what hes done, risks that will have serious financial ramifications if for what ever reason it doesn’t go his way. As for employee status, I hate working for someone else, first and foremost, secondly, just because you have a job that doesn’t mean you will have employment with that business forever. You wouldn’t have to travel far to find someone with a horrible story of being made redundant and depending on their age when made redundant, it can be very tough to get back into the work force.
Q. How much can you make sports trading realistically?