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






Money update

Money update

I’ve been putting this off because, I thought it was going to take a lot of digging around as I haven’t updated my balance before Vietnam. That and the fact that I knew the financial slide had continued for me overall. Like most things that you procrastinate about, it wasn’t nearly as bad once I got stuck into it. Your head has this amazing way to make a mountain out of a mole hill at times, the sooner you rip and get it done the better.

Anyway, enough bullshit, on to the dollars. As I hinted the new plot on the graph shows a continued decline in profits. This doesn’t bode well for my dreams of sailing on a yacht in the Caribbean, next time Australia play the Windies over there. Although it can’t be seen, things have started to turn around in the last week and a bit. The lowest point my balance got to was about $1,000 less than what you see, a few things have really started to click for me in the racing markets. Yesterday I had my best day there with $350 netted, I won’t be declaring it a winner until I can put a month of consistency together, I have a lot to learn still, I’m doing that, but I’m “quietly confident” that its coming together for me.

Cricket is ramping up with the WT20 competition starting in India a couple of nights ago. I thought I was going to stay up all through the night for the competition, but fuck it, I really don’t enjoy the format enough to put myself through the pain. I will trade the earlier games that start at 7.30pm as they are ideal, but the 12.00am start can do one. Obviously, key matches I will stay up for, but at the moment in the pool stages I couldn’t give a shit.

I just want to make mention of the people that have helped me on this journey. In the past I’ve been focusing a lot of energy on people that are negative towards what I’m doing, trying to change their perception, I couldn’t give a flying fuck any more. The people I want to focus on are the people that have helped and encouraged me. I could do the standard “you know who you are” thing, but instead, going to list a bunch of people and how they’ve helped:

  • Becca – Hasn’t been easy for her I know, but she always backs me, I love you for that.
  • Peter Clark – Supported me in a number of ways throughout the years and on this venture hes been no different.
  • Greg Millar – Backed me 110% when I started playing poker full-time, without his support wouldn’t be doing this now.
  • Tristan, Robbie & Dave – Great lads, great support, great sounding board when things are tough.
  • The parents, they never know exactly what I’m doing but they’re never worried, usually more intrigued than anything.
  • @muller234 – Top bloke, always supported me, there from the start, has similar goals and dreams, great for a laugh. Pretty smart for a Geordie too.
  • @back2layhorses – Again, there from the start, chasing his dream too, always checks in to see how things are going, top bloke. Who would have thought England had so many champion blokes living there?
  • @tradermatt106 – There isn’t too many more people that have put time into me in terms of trading cricket. If you’re not following this guy, you should be.
  • @Relaxer_ – Seriously sharp operator and has put in a bunch of time to me. Listening to my rants and calming me down, thanks for the help legend.
  • @aussieruled – Not trading on the level of Matt & Relaxer, but certainly the first guy to show me around the markets, also been a great voice of reason over the time.
  • @DownIsTheNewUp_ – Legend guy, pretty much keeps to himself, but been very influential for me, always very succinct.
  • @Trooa – Don’t let the class clown act fool you, this guy is sharp. Another real supporter and been a huge help in my journey, cheers JT.
  • @leantothewind – This guy is a champion too, making his way, similar dreams to mine and he is having a crack. Hoping to be able to nail this caper together.
  • @Lost_MyProphets – After an honest post of mine, this guy reached out to me and has poured in a bunch of time to help me, super guy, very appreciative.
  • @CaanBerryTrader – Not as accessible as some others, his content is very good and has been a source to turn to when things haven’t been right.
  • @Tennisratings – I don’t do a lot of tennis these days, but this guy is a out and out champion, always makes time for you and very supportive, thanks Dan.
  • @day25 – Steve is a good egg, always makes time for you and has been a supporter of my blog. His blog has always been a place to go bury my head when times are tough.
  • Bunch of boys from Twitter; Tom, RKM79, Jesse, Lenny, Dan Armo, Charchandrick Bets, Tommy, GreenForm, Oruas, AngryRay, John Millward, Lix, Fenners, Onlyfoolsgamble, Sim, Paul, few others I may have missed. Supporters and good for a laugh.
  • All readers from Facebook; All the comments of support when I post, does mean a lot and thanks a ton. Special mention to the crew in “Derolicked politics”.

All these people have helped back me and I really appreciate that. It doesn’t go unnoticed and its very humbling to have great support. I must not lose sight of the support, for every hater there is 50 supporters in my life 🙂

$1060, account balance +$7116.94

Cheers Luke

Betfair trading profit and loss graph.

Betfair trading individual trades
My plays and trades since my last post. A lot of red, but things are turning around for me, expect to see a big bounce back in the next few weeks.





“Old habits, something, something”.

“Old habits, something, something”.

They say that “old habits die hard” and I’m a walking, talking example of this. Hands up if you’re like me and learn most lessons the hard way? It’s a shit situation right? On one hand, you have all these motivational quotes saying “don’t give up”, “failure is a step towards success”, all the while, you are getting burnt with these failures and wondering “am I just in denial”? In the gambling world, this can get fucking expensive, fucking quick.

Despite every sane cell in my brain telling me not to; I went back to horse racing this week, what a masochist. I’m fearful of how this chapter ends. Last time; I nearly killed the girlfriend, I had her hiding all the sharp objects in the house and locking the door to the balcony. I’ve basically, never had any success in this cunt of a sport, be it gambling or trading.

Why? I hear you asking. In short, I’ve developed 3 edges which I have been paper testing for the last six weeks. That alone means I’ve certainly come along way since my last foray into this market. I also used very small stakes when flicking over to try with real “moola”. Again, this gave me confidence that I was taking this seriously, last time my over staking was wild. I had a good start to my real money trades and time will tell now how it pans out long-term, fingers crossed, it’s a market I’d like to crack.

Good variance gods were shining brightly out of my ass crack this week. Usually, gamblers, traders, this blog is full of horror stories about how if some “pure cunt” had have just caught the ball everything would have been all right. This week I was on the pants boner side of variance on a number of occasions.

Hail Mary – GB v Det

GB v Det - Hail Mary
That pass and catch netted me $300 extra dollars than I would have got had GB gone on to lose by less than 3, which it looked like they were going to do. Good variance 🙂
King Kohli hits a boundary to win my overs bets
King Kohli also helped me out this week. I had 3 different overs bets on run line bets after 70 overs in their second innings. With one ball left before the time expired, King Kohli drilled a boundary to win 2 bets, was a $400 swing. Good variance.
Good variance when betting on cricket unders in India v South Africa
More good variance! I could afford just 1 run in 18 balls, get in there! Was a big swing for me, had a lot of under 40.5 and 42.5 too, but these half run winners gave me wood. Good variance.
How woman feel when their partners love sport or gambling on sport.
Saw this on Facebook and it was definitely something I can relate to. I try not to let losses be noticeable, but sometimes it’s hard, just thought it was funny and threw it in, haha.

Finally, thanks to everyone thats having a read each week. I have some really filthy things in the pipeline for this blog. I’m pretty excited by what is coming up, will be good fun, should give some clear insight in to what I’m doing on a day to day basis. Stay tuned and if you ever have questions get on to me on Twitter @lukeamac.

+$618 on the week, account balance +$5462

Cheers Luke

Weekly profit and loss from my trading on Betfair and with the corporate bookmakers.

Each trade I made this week in excel spreadsheet.
Each trade-by-trade in Excel sheet. Putting in here because I’m using a mixture of corporates and Betfair now.
Betfair trading on horses pre race.
First night back trading the nags on Betfair. Some small amounts, but really working hard on the consistent little 5-10% gains.

Bit of time off is needed! Poker time!

I’ve decided to take a step back, some time off is what I need right now. I’ve been at this like a bull at a gate for the last 2 months and it’s taken me to breaking point and back again. I’m like that though, very impatient and impulsive at times. I want everything to happen yesterday, especially when I know I’m on to something good. Right now though, the best thing for me and my trading adventure is to take a step back and focus on some other things in my life.

I ain’t quitting, it nearly broke me (mentally not financially), but all things that have been great in my life have done the same. I just want to step back from it all, look it a little more objectively and start to build a plan on how I’m going to attack it when I do come back into it. I like to have a plan, goals, structure, just randomly clicking buttons without tracking my success is shit to me.

I’m talking weeks, not months, I’ll be back on deck within the week or so, just a week off or so, find some clarity and go again. In that time I will also be reading a book by Daniel Weston so I will let you all know how that goes. I follow Dan on Twiiter (@tennisratings), seems a very knowledgable lad in the space, so we’ll see what it uncovers.

Also been talking with, @MrUnknownTrader, again, smart guy with some good insight and suggestions for me moving forward. It’s hard you know, this trading stuff is a very secretive world. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why, people are shitting themselves that if their edges/ angles are revealed then they won’t be as profitable, fine, understood. What pisses me off though is how you can then sell books and video’s? Take poker, because I have experience in it, there is also many similarities. In poker, there is tons of books and videos, most are fucking shit, it takes little time to find the ones with substance. Fuck, I’ve had the best players in the world tell me what to read to start beating the game. So not only did the author publish a book that tells you how to beat it, but players that have built their edge in the game from that book also tell you to read it. Why aren’t they all secretive and buying copies of the book and burning them so no one can read it?

Most people are stupid, it’s true, if you have ever worked with people you will know this. Just because a book or video is out there that tells people how to do something, that doesn’t mean they can then apply it. People have written books on how to beat blackjack through basic card counting principles, are casino’s going broke from people playing perfect strategy and card counting? No, they aren’t. From what I have seen, the industry of Betfair Trading is mostly filled with content that politely, I could say is, well, I won’t say, I don’t want to be rude. But it starts with fucking and it ends with shit. The cost of some of these courses and things too, give us a break would you? We were born at night, it wasn’t last night.

If anyone has any suggestions of content that is worth reading/ watching, I’m all ears, I’m also happy to be proven wrong. But at this stage, anything of worthy note has been very limited.

Cheers Luke

Back on the path to success!

After a rocky few days, I’m back on the path to success. It’s well documented how monumental my fuck ups have been in the last little bit, last night was the confidence shot in the arm I needed. My selection process was back, decision making was much better and my discipline was there.

I didn’t end up with huge, money last night, all for one play that cost me a full unit. But green is green and last night just cemented in my mind that this can be done and lucrative. Played around with some more tennis last night too, I’m yet to have an unsuccessful trade there, just playing around, sample is so small it’s laughable though.

Cheers Luke

Money lost, nothing lost. Confidence lost, everything lost.

It was always going to happen, after my horror night another one right after, just testing how well I had really learnt my lesson. Sadly, on the results front, there is little positivity to report from last night’s session of trading. I dropped another $300 sending my bankroll into the red for the first time, eh!

I’d be lying if I said, the day before didn’t rattle me somewhat. My confidence copped a beat up and during my research for the days racing I had made some less than profitable adjustments to my selection process. This all happened in my subconscious, I certainly didn’t set out to fuck up my selections for the day. My mindset being just off had a dramatically bad effect on the results.

Despite the results, there was some positives to draw on from the session. I didn’t up my units and try to chase the losses. In fact, I stopped midway through the day of racing identifying that there was something fundamentally wrong with what was happening. Races were not panning out how I thought they would, my plays weren’t close and I was way off the mark.

If you are doing this on your own, you are doing it wrong. There is a really strong community on social media, forums, etc., get involved, get support and be supported. I did just that, chatting through some points with ‘ma boyyyzzz’ @muller234 & @back2layhorses. Those moments of clarity with them, speaking objectively rather than subjectively have given the three of us things to work on going forward.

Cheers Luke

“I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.”

In a short moment, all I could hear rattling around my head was those words I had heard so much growing up from my mother; “I’m not angry, I’m just disappointed.” That was always the worst, let you wallow in your own broth for a while in your room in utter silence, thinking of what you’ve done, then the full brunt of ‘being grounded’ and bulk choirs to come, FML.

Last night I lost it, I lost my patience, I lost my control and ultimately I lost everything I had made over the last 5 nights, $650 down the drain. It pains me to admit it, but I am still a trading fish. I wouldn’t say I’m a whale as I am doing a lot of things right, but emotionally and physiologically there is still along way to go. I basically did everything I shouldn’t and payed a fairly expensive price for it.

I doubt I’m the first, or the last, to fall into the trap of having some things go against me in a trading session; partial matches of exits from market, human errors working with software, horses missing starts, false starts in races, etc and then blow it up. Raising my stakes outside of my bankroll parameters, trading on the run making last minute uninformed decisions and ultimately chasing losses. Although I’m likely not be the only one that’s monumentally fucked it up, it still pissed me off I think I actually had steam coming out of my ears. Then after I calmed down, I wasn’t angry anymore, I was just disappointed. Disappointment in yourself really hurts and anyone that has experienced that will know what I mean.

Luckily for me, I stopped, yes I wiped out a bunch of profit, by I still have my bankroll and will just need to start on the ground floor once again. Added bonus, there is more racing today (tonight for me), tomorrow and the day after. With that in mind it’s time to get back on horse and make some MOONAAAAY (loving these puns)!

In case you have fallen like I and happen to read this blog, here’s some things I will be doing to better position myself not be a complete and utter fucking spastic, Betfair trader again:

  • Setting alarms on my grinding computer to go off and remind me not to be a retard.
  • Taking breaks during the session to think about what I’m doing objectively, rather than just getting lost in one big time warp. Especially if things aren’t going my way or I’m not trading well.
  • Sticking to the rules!

Been a bunch of things I’m doing really well, so the girl hasn’t been hiding the sharp objects in the house or locking the door to the balcony yet. Not yet.

Cheers Luke