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.

Back in the winners circle!

Back in the winners circle!

Yewwwwww, turning it around. I knew some things were coming together at the end of my last money update. Still humble, still know there is much more to learn, but things coming together for me which gives you added motivation to press on. Pleasing! Both the footy seasons are back and that means its time to make some money. This period is by far my best financially at the moment so it will be head down bum up with the AFL starting this weekend.

Horse racing mistakes are becoming less and less frequent. It’s down to around one or two bad trades now per day which eat up the fat part of my profit. Once I can eliminate that I will be rolling. About a week ago I started an excel spreadsheet which is manually tracking every trade I make. Not just per market, per individual entry and exit during the race. Its been INCREDIBLE! I will be doing this for all markets I trade from now on, it really allows you to see whats working, but maybe more importantly, whats not working. Its not crazy in depth, but it allows me to extract some very handy shit.

I haven’t had a drink for 31 days, not since returning from Vietnam. Hard to tell if its the placebo effect or not, but I feel a lot better. Better sleep, better head space, better motivation and better focus while trading. I’m not doing it for any particular time frame, just as long as I want to. I probably haven’t done it before this for fear of the social aspect of “having a beer”. I think a lot of people feel that way as they have “shit chat” when they aren’t drinking. For me though, I’m able to interact comfortably and still have fun while being sober. That said I went to a 21st when I was about 7 days in and I wanted to commit a mass murder, was still getting used to it I guess. Some people just annoy the fuck out of you sober or not, think its magnified when you’re sober though. Will keep you updated on the sobriety if anything changes or milestones are achieved.

I missed some great games and the biggest racing day last weekend, so the weekly total could have been a lot better. Instead of trading I went camping at North Stradbroke Island with a few friends. Had a great time, great crew, plenty of laughs and surprisingly, very little boozing. Usually I would say that there would be heaps of grog on a trip like that, but this time around we just did a lot of other shit; rod fishing, spear fishing, cooking, swimming, surfing and playing fetch with everyones favourite dog “Hank”. It was really easy to do on short notice for a few nights, be revisiting the option next summer. I usually bunker down over the football season but considering AFL starts this upcoming week I thought I would go and enjoy the outdoors before working my ass off for the next 6 months.

+$663.06, account balance +$7780

Cheers Luke

Betfair trading graph back in the winners circle
Back in the winners circle.
Individual trades and bets mostly with Betfair
Individual trades, great to have the footy back.

Luke, what is sports trading?

Luke, what is sports trading?

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.

What is lay betting?
Lay bet overview. You are playing bookmaker.


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.

Betfair trading French Open 2011 on Rafael Nadal
Betfair trading French Open 2011 on Rafael Nadal


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?  

A. Realistically, its like any other industry, there are top earners and there are bottom earners. Starting out I wouldn’t have expectations too much higher than trying to make a few bucks on the side as you learn the ropes. I know guys quite well that are making between $250,000 – $500,000 P.A, in all likelihood there are likely solo operators making more, I just don’t know them. If you were able to start your own company in bookmaking down the track, the skies the limit.

If you have any other questions you would like to ask, please don’t hesitate to comment below or shoot me an email at lukeamacatyahoodotcomdotau.

Cheers Luke