Back to back profitable weeks, interesting head space.

Woohoo! Best feeling! I’ve just had my first consistent, back-to-back weeks, of what I would say is ‘considerable profit’ over a ‘decent sample’. I’ve had longer runs of profit in the past, but never with a decent amount of plays like the last two weeks. I’ve also never felt as in control as I have in the last two weeks, feeling good, feeling great!

I have that feeling now that the week is over. During the week though my mind ranged between; this is easy, I’m all over this, to, I really don’t want to fuck this up, booking back to back sizeable profit’s mean’s a lot to me. I’m starting to understand why many talk about the psychology of trading being equally, if not, more important than the other required skills.

“This is easy now, I know it all”. Most people have heard of the term “tilt” when talking about poker. For those that haven’t, it mean’s; playing the game with a suboptimal strategy due to emotional factors. This mostly happens when people are losing money or become impatient. However, people also go on “winners tilt”, which is; when people use a suboptimal strategy due to the emotion created from winning. The card’s are falling their way, they’re bluffing players out of pots, everything they do seems to be working. You’ll often hear people at the table that are having a session like this; say something like; “I’m hitting my flushes today, that’s why I had to call” or “I’m running hot today, I have to call”.

This thinking is totally flawed. The cards have no memory, they don’t know your name let alone whether you’re “running hot”. The chance of hitting a flush draw on the turn or river never changes. It’s the same 13 suited cards in a 52 card deck, every time. So letting your emotions tell you to call because; “I’m running hot”, makes no sense. You’ll begin to take unnecessary risks, which leads to -EV positions. On Tuesday, my first session back on the ladders, this was my mind set. I thought I was God’s gift to trading. DANGER WILL ROBINSON!

Luckily, having experienced this in poker before, I was able to identify the shift in my mindset and reign it in. Then I went to the other end of the spectrum, extreme opposite. I started realising I really wanted to back up last weeks profit with another good week. This made me start to feel a little timid and nervous while I was watching the market, looking for an entry. I started second guessing myself, missing spots I’d usually take and missing winning trades. Again, I identified my mindset in an objective manner and chin checked it, neck up you Parrot!

I came to the conclusion that; although too much of the latter (procrastination, timid, etc.) was obviously harmful to my trading success, I’d rather err on the side of caution and miss some winning plays than be an overconfident fish in the market with “winner’s tilt”.

+$591 on the week, account balance $5,652.

Cheers Luke

Week 2 trading graph for Betfair trading

Week 2 - Tennis trading Betfair
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Week 2 - NFL trading on Betfair
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Mattek-Sands Muguruza Betfair Trading
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Betfair tennis trading
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Wang v Wozniacki Betfair tennis trading
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Indianapolis v Houston NFL Betfair trading
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.
Bacsinszky v Errani Betfair Tennis Trading
Week 2 of my trading graph. Was great to get back to back decent profits.

What a difference a week makes.

Usually, I’ve posted my weekly update by now.  This weekend, however, was overtaken by Grand Final weekend here in Australia. No surprises in the AFL final with Hawthorn winning their third premiership in a row. I was lucky enough to travel the one hour plane flight to Sydney to watch the NRL grand final. The match is being  touted as the greatest grand final in history and I’m glad to say I was a part of the 82,000 strong crowd. The game and atmosphere were both electric. I also got absolutely fucking written off on Sunday night, so no trading over the weekend.

Getting to the trading from last week, WHAT, A, DIFFERENCE, A, WEEK, MAKES! Incredible stuff last week for me, a complete turnaround. I don’t just mean from a financial stand point, I mean mostly in my decision making. What’s hard to get your head around with trading is; you can do something technically right then lose money, same with doing something wrong, money lost. So how does one know when they are making the right decisions? For me, it’s numbers, I like to use statistics with good relevant sample sizes to make entries and and exits. Then I know, no matter the result I made a +EV play. This last week I’ve found just what I need.

I’ve said it before in my blog, “if you are doing this alone, you’re doing it wrong”. You should be connecting with other traders, statisticians, odd’s compliers, punter’s. We have a Skype chat room with 16 traders of all levels. It’s great to be able to bounce idea’s and learn about other markets you may not be currently trading. In the group I’ve been working mostly with @AdamChernoff as he trades the markets I’m mostly interested. We both bought a subscription with http://www.tennisratings.co.uk/. Tennis Ratings is run by Dan Weston & Matt ‘H’, these guys build brilliant tennis models. Since having these numbers, I’ve been able to save myself time in collating data and be much more efficient with my entry/exits in the market. Some really exciting things to come with that service in the near future I’m told, stay tuned for more information on that.

All in all, this was my most profitable week and it’s not even close. I ended up with a total profit of $726.25 on the week. It’s fair to say I am really stoked with that result. But now I’m back, just finished trading my first NFL game for the week actually, it’s heads down, bums up to lock in a solid back to back weeks of trading.

+$726 on the week, account balance $5,061.

Cheers Luke

Betfair Trading Graph

nfl-profloss
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
tennis-profloss
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
WTA tennis trading on Betfair
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
Betfair WTA tennis trading
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
WTA tennis trading on Betfair, Caroline Wozniacki
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
Betfair trading WTA tennis
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
Betfair trading WTA tennis, 3 matches at once
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.
NFL trading on Betfair
NFL trading profit/loss on Betfair.

Progressing, but another dint to the confidence.

This has not been a good week for the team at Gamble Gambol. My friend and side kick Jamie made one expensive misstep and I turned a winning week into a losing week in one foul day. I’m learning, I’m progressing, I think or is that me in denial? This is the problem, you think you are doing a lot of things right, but then you make these mistakes you’ve made before and you start second guessing yourself.

For me, the most part of the week was actually good. I was cruising along, I was up around $300 or 7% of my starting bank. Great stuff really. But that is really being focused on the results which is not something I’m big on. I like to instead look at the mechanics of the week and break down the plays I made more and how they can be improved. Focusing on process and not outcome.

Looking back over the week, there were problems even on the + $ days. I’ve set myself a bankroll now at the start of this week of $5,000. Off that, I have some maximum exposure limits per play, maximum losses off that exposure per play also. I broke those limits on a number of plays this week. For a reason unknown to me at this stage (could be anomaly or real reason for it) I start my sessions off with a loss, generally a big loss. I’m then scratching to get back for the session. I really need to plug the holes in my game if I’m going to make this what I want it to be. I’ll be listing details below and working profusely this week to fix those issues.

Pretty sure I’m not in denial, I’m making in roads, I’m doing a bunch of good things. I’ve been learning a lot, my skills are better, my knowledge is growing every day. I’ve been working with @adamchernoff on tennis and NFL. The guy has a wealth of knowledge, coming from a bookmaking background. In turn we are both using @Tennisratings (Daniel) spreadsheets which are sent out daily. They give a great profile on the player through statistics. Dan has also offered his assistance to look over some of my trades and help me improve. Very appreciative of that offer and will be taking him up on that this week.

The holes I must plug starting this week are:

  • Read this list before all trading sessions
  • Follow my liability rules strictly – have spreadsheet open
  • SELL LOSING POSITIONS
  • All trading at my desk in spare room
  • Thorough research before trading any match
  • More selective in which matches I trade

I’d be lying if I said I’m not disappointed, I am, but I can feel it, I can taste it, it’s so close. I just need to get a few things under control and I can make this happen, I can do this, but nothing good in life comes easy and this is testing me.

-$565 on the week account balance $4,335.

Cheers Luke

20150928122346

Main wallet Betfair trading
Main Wallet trading loss from trading NFL, soccer, WTA tennis.
Australian wallet Betfair trading
Main Wallet trading loss from trading NFL, soccer, WTA tennis.

More perspective, more control.

I traded the early NFL game, this week. I  felt much clearer in my perspective while trading the match, not only for each trade, but for the match itself. I’ve been guilty in the past of not having an understanding of my profit on a trade as a percentage of my stake. Mostly I do this when I’ve layed first for a small liability. When I back first it’s easy, buy for ‘x’, sell for ‘y’, profit is ‘z’, ‘z’ is what percentage of ‘x’ (if you didn’t follow the equation at the end there, re-read it, you just slow, don’t stress). When laying first though, I’ve been blinded by the potentially large upside on the trade.

For example, take the trade I did in the Broncos v Kansas City game (screenshot below). There I decided to lay Kansas City at $1.17 for $100. Unlike back betting, where my full risk would be $100 (in this instance), I’m risking only $17. Essentially this means my stake is just $17. I’ve been blinded by the potential win with this lay at times. The most I can win is $100 (if the team I layed in this case KC went on to lose), that would constitute a profit of 588% on my stake ($17). That return is unrealistic from one trade, in this case, a profit of just $8.50 however, would provide me with a 50% ROI for this trade.

That moment of clarity has made me much more aware during my trades of what is a good ROI per trade. Twice I entered the market and twice I made 60%+ on my trade. In the past, with the potentially large upside, I’d often let the trade run and run only to miss the most opportune time to exit the market. This not only has cost me profit, but my original stake in the past, silly prick, me. This has definitely been an “ah ha” moment of my short trading career.

+20 on this match, happy with the profit, but even happier with the ability to refine my process. In my next few posts I will be; setting up some spreadsheets, bankroll, targets and graphs. These things will really help me to stay focused, as I love a good graph.

Cheers Luke

NFL Trade
NFL trading on my Betfair account. This NFL match was between Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs.