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

Prophet or profit?

Prophet or profit?

I’m still here 10 months on. Been many times where I thought I wouldn’t be and many times where I had to tell myself “I would be”. This far in I understand I still don’t know everything, still don’t have the consistency or stake levels I would like to have, but I’ve well exceeded my wildest expectations so far. Originally I thought if I can make $40,000 in my first year and get paid while learning, great! To make $75,000 in 10 months, crazy stuff.

My penultimate post, possibly anyway. I haven’t posted for ages as the motivation to do so has waned. The reasons I originally started this blog were; to be accountable and to show the path I went down to get to where ever I got to. In my absolute trading infancy blog posts from pro guys were what assured me that I wasn’t about to travel an impossible path. These trading guns weren’t savants, they were just ordinary people that worked hard to build edges in the game. Whether people learned what to do or what not to do, I hoped my journey may help others in the future. As for the accountability, I track my wins and my losses to the cent and I don’t give a fuck if I look stupid anymore. I used to use the fear of looking like an absolute stooge in the public forum as a motivation to “follow the rules”. It worked for the early stages, but as I’ve learnt more, I’ve understood that being wrong and looking like a stooge at times is all a part of it.

Following on from looking like a stooge, “What I learned Losing a Million Dollars” had some great stuff in there that’s really stuck with me. One thing Jim Paul talks about is do you want to be a “prophet or make profit”? Some people get more wrapped up in being right than they do of making money. This has terrible flow on effects including “personalising losses”. It definitely challenged my thinking, made me aware of this thought process and I’m working on completely removing it from my psyche. I’m trading for one reason, profit. I’ll still share some thoughts on my Twitter handle @lukeamac but I’m going to start winding down my blog and focusing on profit.

I’ll do a wrap up of the first 12 months when I get there and then after that, I don’t know if I’ll post again. Never say never, but they certainly won’t be frequent and may not be trading specific. Since my last post though I’ve had a great run, think it’s been about 5 or 6 weeks and my trading is becoming more and more efficient which is pleasing. Took me 10 months, but worked out I didn’t have to plug in my numbers into an online charting tool too, Excel will do it for you. What a noob. Anyway, new looking graph below but it charts the journey in its truest form.

+$26,176.16 account balance +$76,033.92 (10 months, 1 week)

Cheers Mac

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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.

 

“The only way is up, baaabbyyy, for you and me now”

“The only way is up, baaabbyyy, for you and me now”

As the title suggests, things continued to roll along. As I look back through my plays since the last blog entry, I notice that some of the reds are alarmingly 4 figures. They are offset by more green 4 figure sums, which is pleasing. That wasn’t a humble brag, more so, a point of reflection, it shows how my bankroll and bet sizes have significantly grown in 8 months. I used to tilt my tits off when I lost 4 figures. Twitter friends were desperately PM’ing the missus to get her to hide the sharp objects around the house. Now those occasions are saved for Richmond games. Fucking Richmond, don’t start me on those maggots please.

I purchased some new equipment a little while ago. Finally I’ve produced my first piece of non written content. TommyBet and JT will enjoy the subject of my first video. TommyBet might learn a thing or two if he isn’t too fried from Iron Maiden. His biggest shock will be that you don’t have to drive across the “boarder” to get set. It’s far from Hollywood quality, I’m pretty happy with it on a small budget, and limited previous editing skills. If you have any feedback on the video (embedded below) or questions on the topic, please get in touch, like to hear from you.

I will do a few more quick videos, just keen to get some content up and out as well as learning to use editing software. I have plans for a trading podcast and some cool video content I want to release. For me it’s about trying to work out how to best release everything without over lapping and more importantly making it easy for me as I’m lazy. That is all in the pipeline and foreseeable future, for now, few more little tips and tricks style videos while I piece it all together.

Minimal league with “rep round” just gone. Another piss poor attempt to revive non origin representative football. City v Country, give me a fucking break would you? That is the biggest piece of dog shit that game, its not used as a trial, so whats the point? Increased chance of injury to some of the most highly paid players in the league. There is no intensity, club games are more important to players, they go harder there, watch them there for fucks sake. Queensland have no “trial” and their setup seems to be, some what successful. Someone on Twitter said it best; “Aaron Gray scored 4 tries and he is not in the top 10 wingers for NSW”. Farce, drop it, move on, absolute garbage.

That said, attentions turned to AFL, entirely. Hello! AFL has come roaring back into the black this season with a 6-1 weekend. To be fair, it was a perfect 5-0 weekend, the last two bets were offset against each other. I think that one was a 18 point middle, missed by a fair way again. What was pleasing though, weekend before last, I finally drilled one in the Carlton v Essendon game, had $1000 per side on that one, paid for some of the VIG  I’ve paid in middles up until now. I’ve attached a picture of my Unibet account below, be lying if I said that didn’t frustrate me, $140.25 of a requested $1500 bet accepted. The bet was a middle, it landed so $2500 or so went begging there. Anyway, I’ll land a big one soon enough, I’m sure.

+$6,643.21, account balance +$29,491.83

Sports trading and gambling profit/ loss
Sports trading profit/ loss chart
Sports trading and gambling individual plays
Sports trading individual trades and plays from the last fortnight or so
Unibet rejected my bet on AFL
Rejected bet from Unibet, middle landed, Murphy’s Law.

 

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.