Honour among thieves

Haven’t written in this thing in fuck knows. Been a long time anyway. Started out as a chance to keep myself publicly accountable when trading and then I got a little bit Day25 with it and was doing holiday updates and now I’ve decided to just write about whatever the fuck I want; I’m turning this whole blog into a steaming pile of mutant shit. But anyway, “honour among thieves”, who are these thieves, well if you’re on the punt and winning, you’re a thief in this story.

I want to take you back to where it all started for me 5 years ago. Sitting at the poker table and someone asks me if I had ever heard of “sports arbitrage”. After getting the run down I realised that I could make some extra cash on the side of poker, relatively risk free. I was signing up (or using past muggy accounts already opened) to do matched betting“. I was young in the industry, naive and I really didn’t know any better that was my edge. I mean my bankroll wasn’t big, I had been shown this low risk way of making extra cash, this is a gold mine that will just go on forever right? WRONG, BANNED!

From there my now wife, her sisters, my brothers, my mates and a few randoms too all also “got into” matched betting. They all followed the same systems as me, all used my laptop and did it under my very watchful eye (wink wink). This was a gold mine for “them” that would continue to go on forever right? WRONG, BANNED! And so I ran out of people to “tell”. It was then that I realised that if I wanted longevity in the game that I would need to bet at places that wouldn’t ban me. I had been using Betfair in matched betting and come across sports trading“, this was going to be my way forward.

Fast forward and I’m asked to fill in for my mates indoor cricket side one week. Here I meet Tristan Merlehan who happens to be the captain and founder of the side. We get chatting later and I find out he owns Topsport; “fuck” I think in my head “I hope the cunt doesn’t find out I used to do that bonus bet shit at Toppy, don’t think the bookies like it”. Anyway, “who gives a fuck, bookies are all cunts” I thought to myself, what does it matter.

Few months go by (I won’t go too deep into my “bromance” developing with Tristan but I’ll leave it at; this guy has to be one of the most thoughtful, generous persons I’ve ever met, that and he loves punt and sport, lad) and we are having a beer after the game as is tradition for our indoor team the “C U Next Tuesday’s”. Tristan tells me a story about a client who stung them big time. This person found a horse mispricing in an ALL-IN market for some upcoming race. The finer details I can barely remember but they aren’t super important, I think the horse won some lead up race and they hadn’t moved the price despite this having happened. So the client finds the error and bets it to win a stack. Now my response to Tristan at the time was “well you guys should have been quicker to move it”, so naive, so so wrong.

As time went on I started to learn that bookmaking relationships like any other are give and take. I was at a Betfair function one year before Magic Millions and Tristan also attended. He wanted to introduce me to one of their biggest clients who we will call Dale because he reminded my drunk mate of Dale Steyn (and he let him know about it too “YOU LOOK LIKE DALE STEYN, STEYN TO WARNER, BANG” he reckoned). Anyway Dale and I got chatting, quite fascinated with his whole operation we talked for quite some time only interrupted when said drunk mate would yell across the whole party at Campbell Brown who was a Betfair guest on the night “OI CAMPBELL, CAMPBELL, CAMPBELL, OI CAMPBELL” *Campbell finally acknowledges with a look* “CROWS” *fist pump from my mate*, *awkward laugh and nod from Campbell*.

But I digress, one thing that Dale said to me that blew my mind and educated me was that his relationship with Tristan and Topsport was one of huge mutual respect. Although his livelihood depended on finding value, it didn’t depend on finding it through errors. The value of having Topsport as an “out” vs betting grubby errors was a “no-brainer”. In fact Dale had code of honour with Topsport that if he or his crew saw anything clearly incorrect they would “bet $1 on that runner and that would alert the traders that something was wrong and give them a chance to rectify it. After that whatever they went back up was fair game”. This moment stuck with me forever, here I had a professional punter, wildly successful winning at a big rate against Topsport and yet they both were mates, drinking together, chatting shop, not all bookies are the enemy? They’re not all cunts?

From that day I set out to do the right thing by those books that had done the right thing by me. The list wasn’t very long it had one name on it Topsport (Betfair also been brilliant and have big time for all the Betfair Aus crew, but talking bookmakers specifically here). I made an agreement with Tristan that if I saw anything I too would be betting $1 on it to alert the team. I also became an advocate for their business in the social sphere and I defended them when the opportunities arose. Not only that my best punting mates in the industry (we have a group chat) also started reporting errors directly to me and I would send them to Tristan. We all too, like Dale had started to realise that the offering from Topsport far outweighed the short-sighted snipe of an incorrect price. What happens if Topsport ceases to exist? Where are we then? Frightful thought.

Fast forward to today. I have 3.5 places I can bet to win more than $5; Topsport, TAB (in cash, account is fucked), Betfair and the half is BetEasy who on their day will let me on to win $500. Lets remove BetEasy because really its rare I try there as limits pretty grim and lets remove Betfair because they won’t ban or limit. Leaves TAB (cash) and Topsport; and for me (I can’t speak for other sports in fairness) but this is a mismatch of epic proportions. Take any random cricket game “Toppy” are likely to offer some 250+ markets for you to bet on whereas TAB might be lucky to offer 25. Toppy I can bet in my jocks from home, TAB I have to put clothes on and run to the pub hoping the price hasn’t gone. Toppy will lay me to win $1000-$2000 on the most esoteric markets and main stream its literally nose bleed sizing. I get more on than majority of clients because over a sustained period I’ve built a relationship, they know I won’t snipe them and in return I get on for more than the average bear on 100% “fair bets”, “respect is earned not given, it’s a 2 way street”.

I wrote this piece because lately I’ve seen a lot of filth getting bet in some of my extended circles as well as talk about what makes a good or bad bookie. Each of you will have your own opinions and you’re entitled to them. To me though, if you’re a winner you should be thinking about building relationships with true betting bookmakers, looking after their business means looking after your own. As someone once said to me this game is a “marathon not a sprint” and the thought of running a marathon to the TAB with cash in hand every day, clothed to bet on 25 markets isn’t much fun.

Caveat: I’m not holier than thou, do I love a good palp rort? My fuck, do I ever (probably tried/ been on 5 this week). But pick your targets, think about it, use your fucking noggin! Time and a place for everything.

Punt Pod – Podcast Launched

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:

Punt Pod Twitter – www.twitter.com/puntpod

Punt Pod Facebook – www.facebook.com/puntpod

Punt Pod Gmail – puntpod@gmail.com

Give us a follow, like, retweet, share, subscribe, all that good shit. Look forward to hearing your best degenerate stories and sharing them with the degen community.

P.s. we’re on iTunes too https://itunes.apple.com/au/podcast/punt-pod/id1257535384?mt=2

Cheers Mac

Finally, the bubble burst and I lost

Finally, the bubble burst and I lost

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 $3,000 loss 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.

Period 1: +$10,425.07

Period 2: -$2,371.68

Account balance +$49,857.76 (9 months)

Cheers Mac

Betfair trading and betting profit/loss graph
Betfair trading and betting profit/loss graph
Betfair trading and betting individual plays from 1st of June 2016 to 21st of June 2016.
Betfair trading and betting individual plays from 1st of June 2016 to 21st of June 2016.
25000 backing $1.06 Manly v Penrith 2016 Betfair
What was left of the $25,000 lumpy @ $1.06
Layed $5000 at $1.06 on Manly
How my book looked after laying the $5000 on Manly at $1.06
Level trading book on Betfair. Rugby League NRL Manly v Penrith 2016
How I ended up, as you can see Manly price still $1.18 at this stage. Wish I left it haha

Trading update & the new guy

Trading update & the new guy

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.

Period 1: +$3,356.78

Period 2: +$6,106.08

Period 3+$2,849.68

Account balance +$41,804.37 (8 months and 1 week)

Cheers Mac

Profit and loss graph from my Betfair trading and bookmaker wagers.
Profit and loss graph from my Betfair trading and bookmaker wagers.

 

Betfair trades and sports bets since last financial update.
Betfair trades and sports bets since last financial update.
Morkie Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier Ned
Ned on the way home from where we got him out past Gympie. He’s a ‘Morkie’ (Maltese x Yorkshire Terrier).
Morkie Ned grabbing money when I was counting it.
Smart guy, grabbed the cash while I was counting it.

 

Graph up at 90 degrees

Graph up at 90 degrees

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.

+$5,864.02, account balance +$22,848.62

Cheers Luke

Profit and loss graph from my gambling and trading.
Profit and loss graph from my gambling and trading.
Betfair and bookmaker bets since last blog entry
Each individual play since my last blog entry, lots of green, pleasing.
Found some free newbie money on Betfair. Someone willing to lay Carlton at $2.90 next weekend.
Found some free newbie money on Betfair. Someone willing to lay Carlton at $2.90 next weekend.
$50 note in strippers ass crack
A friend of mine got this nice little message on a $50 note from the ATM. Lewl.
NSW TAB tickets on VFL match
Traveled 35 mins across the QLD/NSW border to get down on the best number with NSW TAB.

 

Up and rolling

Up and rolling

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.

+$1,914.70, account balance +$16,984.40

Cheers Luke

 

Betfair trading profit and loss
Nice week to backup last weeks results.
Weekly trades with bookmakers and Betfair
Weekly individual trades with Bookies and Betfair.
Betfair horse racing trading with 6 screen set up
Betfair race trading with my new six screen set up. Up to 9 ladders at once.
Trading Betfair Newcastle Knights v Wests Tigers NRL
Trading Newcastle Knights v Wests Tigers on Sunday.

BOOM! Footy is back, big start!

BOOM! Footy is back, big start!

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.

+$7,289.70, account balance +$15069.70

Cheers Luke

Betfair trading profit and loss new high point
Higher highs on the trading graph which is pleasing.
Each individual bet I've made on Betfair and other bookmakers
Footy season is back with a bang.
New cockpit set up I'm going for. 6 monitors in portrait
Probably going to go triple portrait set up, better for ladders.