Thursday, 30 January 2014

February Looms, Trading Guide & Database Update

So it's been just over a week (by one day!) since my last post.

My plan was to trade on Tuesday night all fresh and ready..I also had a point to prove that I could trade without using live pictures and only via scoreboards to another blogger ;). However I realized I had set a deposit limit of £100 (I think I didn't intend to want to deposit anymore then this within the first month but whats occurred has occured!) on my Betfair account for the month so I couldn't deposit the money I wanted too.

Therefore I won't be trading again until next Tuesday, although I am very much looking forward to it.

Whilst' on the subject of trading, Justin from has opened up his guide again for anyone who wishes to purchase it.

Now I'm not one to normally mention services, however I have a good relationship with Justin and he has always been quick, polite and courteous whenever I have contacted him and asked for help, which is why I have a link on my blog to his site and have done for many months now (It's underneath the header of the blog name).

I have to say hand on heart that his guide is definitely worth the money, I have it and although I don't use the strategies laid out in the E-Book per-se (I wanted to complement my trading with the information, rather then change my style completely), it is very well written piece of work.

I use a mix of information from it combined with my own strategies that is quite pivotal for me, there is a lot of useful information even for experienced traders.

You can read on his page what you get for £45 (and you do get a lot IMO compared to the majority of rubbish out there) so I won't talk about that here.

What I will talk about is my experience with the guide and the forums. Justin's methods are based on mechanical trading techniques. The strategies require no form reading or live pictures. What they do require is patience, perseverance and using them at the correct time.

It isn't a golden goose laying egg or get quick-rich scheme, it is trading using mechanical analysis of the market and it requires EFFORT. Justin mentions this several times on his site, he isn't selling a get-rich no effort 'system' and doesn't pretend to be.

For the sum you pay you also get 2 months worth of forum access, I can first hand say that several of his members have been very successful with his strategies/guide and I have seen the screenshots/threads of one particular member who started off with a low 3 figure bank and is now making very good money.

Anyone who buys the guide I strongly recommend you use the forums to your advantage, as well as checking out the vast amount of screenshots of matches his members and himself submit there. Not only do they help to show the opportunities that were present in matches, members say when they entered, talk about what they missed, could of improved on, mistakes and errors. It's all a learning curve and it helps to develop other people's trading as a collective.

Unlike most E-Book's that are very small and just name basic strategies, Justin goes into great in-depth detail. The E-Book is broke down into logical steps.

There are loads and I mean, LOADS, of graphs that help you understand the potential of the strategies and entry/exit points that could of been achieved in each game, they are each annotated, some in quite detail, so you are not just looking at a graph, you are understanding and learning how the strategies can be applied in all kinds of scenarios, at different price ranges. Anywhere from 1.01 lays to over 100+odds backing.

Recommendation is made to use the main strategy first of all before attempting the others so you feel comfortable. I can tell you now the pricing information that is included is worth the price alone and no that is not a lie, I use it as the forefront of my trading. Whilst I realize I made a loss in January and that might not sound appealing it is not strategy error rather then ill-discipline gambling mentality from my part that has caused my losses.

The pricing guide included is very very accurate, it is worth the price of admission alone without a doubt when used correctly!

The only minor criticism I would have... and it is a very small one! if Justin supplied them he would be more then warranted to charge a higher price, is there are no videos.

The plus side to that is that there is a chat-room that you can use to communicate with other traders, Justin sends out regular E-Mails to keep members updated on different aspects of the site, trading tips, when he will next be in the chat room for a trading and/or Q&A session.

I asked him loads of ridiculous questions when I first got his guide on the chat room, he was always happy to respond even though quite a few of my questions were pretty basic!

I don't really have much more to say other than if your looking to either learn a new method of trading, starting out as a beginner or looking for more information - the pricing guide for example (like I was when I bought it), for £45 and the forum access you can't really go wrong.

Compared to the cost of coaching which to be honest, with sports trading, I find ridiculously over-priced, it is a better place then any to learn how to trade the tennis markets for low cost and I've not heard a bad-word said about it or member complaining at least in my time using forums/chat rooms.

In regards to the database, I thought I had been sent a new version. Obviously I read my E-Mail WAY too quick from the developer!

In regards to that, here is what he has to say about the next incoming version:

The parts in Bold are mainly what I requested and below are his responses.

Some of your bugs and requests have already made it into the program. The crash when first trying to insert a trade should be fixed now. I added some more sanity checks that actually should have been in there already
I asked for a event filter based on Embor's request/comment, developer feels the following way is the best way to go about this, increased flexibility rather then having men/women/tournament filter. Easier to use for several sports this way.
I have also added an Event filter. You just insert a text string and it filters the trades based on that. Next step there is to add multiple filter terms to it, comma separated. 
So you could then filter events on different strings without them having to appear in a certain order. I think that will be good to have.
That way you can enter an event as “ATP Moscow Foo Bar Tournament Etc” and filter for it using a string like “atp”, “moscow” or to narrow it down more “foo,atp,moscow”.
The reason for this is that I think a special field for switching between sport-specific characteristics of a trade would be a bad choice. It would be better to put that data in the event field and filter for it like explained above.
A similar filter for Description could be added too, of course, if this would add some more power.
Small error I notice in spelling and ROI/Strike-rate figures back to front on the compare strategies part of the database.
Small errors like Strategy spelt wrong and ROI/Strike rate mix-up have been fixed of course.
 Mentioned that the date format kept re-setting whenever I exited and restarted the program.
Date format: this will stay like this until I add settings persistency between sessions. So it’s not really a bug, just a missing feature that is still planned. I am expecting some more user settings to appear in the future. 
They will all move (so including the date switch) to a separate dialog that you will know from almost every other program Edit –> Options / Settings.
Still to do for the next version:
 I asked the developer if it was possible to see the graphs based on No of trades and/or days of the month as it plots the graph.
- Fixes to both graphs and adding the switch between day/trade (which of course is perfectly possible). The Year graph *should* work this way so must investigate what has gone wrong. (+/- 2 hours work);
Some small fixes for conflicts/errors.
- Some miscellaneous conflicts I ran into while testing (+/- 1 hour work);
 Developer wishes to add credits to people for there work on components he uses in the database.
- Adding credits to people for some components I use (+/- 30 minute work);
 I requested the ability to have each sport have it's own strategies box/list. This was to make it much cleaner. Rather then having one big list of strategies, they will now be listed under the appropriate sport - I will show this in the next video of the next version. I asked also if he could add an option so that we can move strategies up and down the list for ease of finding a strategy e.g. putting them in Set or alphabetical order.
- Sorting strategies by sport in the strategies dialog and adding functionality to manually order the list (+/- 30 minutes work).
Unfortunately, it’s all go at my work right from the first day back, so I will need to squeeze this into small sessions in the evening. The good thing is: I have not changed anything to the database yet so even if you are still entering stuff into your version this will not be a problem. 
I will ask you for your trades.db file again right before I do the last item in the list above because that is the only change that will require a change to the database structure.
Mentioned I would like to have a name for the program and also to add a logo onto the front of the database in the spare-room area, make it a bit nicer / small graphical touch.
Let me know if you have a new name for the program and possibly a logo, I will add that too."

There is a lot more planned for the database in the future, please feel free to comment on anything you believe would be important feature wise.

Once I have the next version it will be available for general testing/use. Of course it is likely to still be buggy in areas so this is why I will require feedback to help improve it.

Until the next post. If I have the newer version of the database before my next planned post, I will write a post announcing it.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Fresh break!

So it's been exactly a week since my last post.

I've gone further back then before, but it's fine for me, the benefits so far are that I have learned a lot about managing my money and also preparing myself properly for trading session.

I haven't traded for a couple of days now, I am waiting until the Davis Cup matches, if any of them are tradeable, otherwise I will wait until the next tournaments at the beginning of February, I'm very much looking forward to digging myself out of the opening month's red hole (It's over a starting bank's worth!).

I had an interesting session, my last session in fact. Where even though the majority of my trades were losing one's, I was still only about £2 down, if a few of them had gone my way I would of been around the £20 mark up in profit. All the trades were in-line with the strategies, I then just imploded when I was trading low odds on one match (Halep one I believe it was) 'looking' for value when it wasn't there.

For some reason, I really self destructed especially on the Australian tournaments, too little sleep and really wanting to trade matches, rather then just being relaxed and not forcing myself to stay up and just waiting for the next day to get a match or two. 

I basically lost a part of my bank and then went chase-a-roo to try to get it back. I've learned the hard way that I need to go back to something I used to use before, in my staking management at certain odds ranges. This should allow me to be able to lose money at low odd trades if they don't go my way, without worrying about the effect it will have on my bank. That's pretty much mainly one of the main things I need to get into place for when I begin the next trades.

2012 I managed to make a healthy profit, 2013 I went off the rails, 2014 is the time to go towards consistency. Pretty much reminds me of my Poker journey, started off pretty much winning at Poker by being very disciplined, went for too much - lost some money, then learned how to approach and play the game in a much more professional manner. The result was a steady and consistent profit up to the $100 game level and I never had any issue with discipline again, until I stopped playing Poker and started trading.

The rest is down to my own discipline. Even though January has been pretty much a very poor effort from my side, I am positive about February.

Here's the P/L since 1st January, it's bad, but it's recoverable and I'm still very positive I will make a big impression by the time the season ends, one day, one week, one month at a time. Now it's just about doing it..

Main Wallet:

 Australian Wallet:

As for the database, the developer is working on it this week. By the latest end of next week I have been told, the new version will be ready. I think however he intends to get it done before then, so as soon as it is available it will be sent out. Again, leave a comment on the blog if you wish to test it out, should hopefully also be getting version numbers from the next version onwards.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Update #2 - Calamity Carl strikes!

Well, what a disaster it's been since i posted my P/L results.

I won't go into too much detail as I will just do a full over-view of my P/L at the end of the month, needless to say I'm down £20 since I first started from my £50 deposit, I'm going to top it up again to £50. For now I think I'll probably just write this month off as a unmitigated disaster.

If your wondering what the post title is to do with, no my name is not Carl. However I was up about £50 profit from trading Wawrinka vs Falla, managing to catch 3 nice swings from laying 1.01 odds and backing Falla at odds of 90. I used £5 stakes/liability and managed to churn out a £77 profit I believe it was (yes I can show this)..I then proceeded to lose ALL of this amount nearly exactly aside from a few pence on the Pospisil vs Ebden match after the painter I now have named 'Calamity Carl', knocked over our coat stand with the internet and telephone lines undernearth it, the stand snagged the power cables and ripped everything out of the sockets in a rather pivotal moment in that game.

Seeing as I didn't have my phone to use (I use this as a backup usually) and wondering what the hell was going on, it took me more then 5 minutes to recover by which point Pospisil broke Ebden again to go 5-1 up and my money lost.

I need to take part of the blame as I had money left in lower down the ladder and had far too much of my bank exposed which is something I will not be doing anymore, one part of my bank in max - which will be 10% max in the future as I know I can trade with this amount when using my strategies and not risk it all. 10% on the ladders/ in the market at any one time. I can't count the number of times I've been burnt doing this so it's got to change.

As long as I get my correct head on I will make money, at the moment I've been a bit all over the shop. The good news is my diet is going fairly well and I'm re-adjusting my sleep pattern so I should be a lot more rested in the future. I'm also able to exercise again after not being allowed too for 2 weeks due to having some acid reflux since Boxing Day. 

With regards to the database, I passed on all the bugs / errors in it on Sunday I believe..might of been Monday, can't remember now. Hopefully there will be a new version available by the end of next week and then it will be available to anyone who wants to test it (Yes Embor I have your address at the ready to send it out).

Anyway, here's my P/L since the 1st January.. Notice the horrific reds.

Onwards and upwards, I'm looking forward to February and pushing forward with trading then, hopefully for a profitable month, January's most likely non-salvageable due to time constraints with work and not being able to trade the matches.

Main Wallet:

Australian Wallet:

Sunday, 5 January 2014

2014 First profit & loss - Database update!

So here I am a week in since I began, where am I at?

Well first things first. My bank went from being close to the £200 barrier to now just above £50... The negatives are that I lost my way (mainly in the Australian/New-Zealand tournaments), the positive is that my starting bank is still intact. I don't think I can really call it a positive from where I was at, but I don't intend to deposit anymore money so I'll call it a small positive.

Since then I've had a 2 day break without any trading as I've been at my girlfriends which is refreshing so I'm ready to trade (properly!!) again from tonight.

I'll break down my profit and loss in the screens below, then try to explain how it's all gone horribly wrong from consistence to a nightmare.

To give you an idea of how well I was doing, since I started recording my results from the 1st until about 4pm the 2nd of January, I had recorded that my biggest loss was just £4.08 and my biggest single winning trade was £41.67. The loss was perfect, the market overreacted more then I expected but it was fine, I exited as soon as my trade for me was over. The biggest trade came from a lay of around sub 1.15 and a exit point of  about 1.90.

The Monfils game when he played Brands on the same day I believe then gave me my biggest red of about £7.00. Still at this point my bank was over the £150 mark, from hard work and graft and basically not gambling. Nothing had been wrong with my strategies up until this point and all was going to plan.

Also up until that moment I had recorded 31 losing trades, 10 winning trades and 4-5 scratched trades, so I was happy with my results and win to lose ratio. The win to losing trades could of even been better that that but of course I had made a few errors that accounted for a few extra small losses, however I was still exiting without a problem.

The evening session was when disaster struck. I started getting involved in the qualifying matches, on one of the matches that I have highlighted below in my profit and loss results, I lost £32 because of a retirement. More so it wasn't the retirement to blame but that fact that I had nearly 20% of my bank as liability in a very poor liquidity market, just stupid. From there on it all went down-hill and I resulted in some mindless bet's following no strategies at all and trying to claw back some losses rather then just saying to my self "You know what, your still up nearly £100 since beginning, go take a break".

I think part of my mentality was that I was almost happy with losing all my hard-earned profit as long as I didn't lose my entire bank, which is just a stupid perspective on things. It's not like I can even blame poor strategies to fault, because I can't. They were working brilliant (and will continue to do so with discipline!), I just didn't follow ANY strategy by this point and imploded.

I guess one good positive I can take from it all, is that I didn't wager half my bank on a single trade after, something I'd of done in the past and even full bank if it got low enough. My discipline outside of trading, losing some weight and cutting down what I eat has gotten better and I think it is starting to have a positive impact on my own mindset.

For some reason that I can't explain, since I stopped playing Poker in 2011 my discipline for gambling to profit long-term has been a bit all over the place. However I am now trying trade to profit and starting from the ground up again, just like how I made my money in Poker.

I know my discipline is changing again for the good rather then the worse, so I fully believe it's only a short matter of time until I reap the benefits.

I've already seen how much potential my strategies allow me to profit from the markets, It's now time just to do it on a consistent daily, weekly and monthly basis.

Below are my PL screenshots, I've just outlined the areas where from the 1st January my consistency was good, you can see how controlled the losses are, until the end of the profit and loss sheet, mainly on the Australian wallet one how the losses are huge in comparison, it all began with the retirement loss I spoke about above for just over £32, as can be seen on the Australian wallet screenshot.

On a side note, I need to PRINT OFF MY RULES!! Every other piece of information I need is on my wall above my computer monitor, I also have my year planner which is tracking my profit/loss progress. Not only can  I see it, but so can my girlfriend, you can be sure she'll be tracking it! :)

Main wallet:

Australian wallet:

Now that's out of the way and I have a clear head again..I can concentrate on trading properly and logging my trades once more from tonight onwards!

Now onto the database!

Just a very quick update.

I have contacted the developer of the database, I will be sending him the latest feedback to add into the next version either tonight or tomorrow.

I also asked him about sending out the database to a few people to trial it, use it and give feedback on bugs and what other features they would like to be implemented.

Here is his response:

"First of all: happy new year to you too!
I am very much looking forward to your feedback. Send it to me, I will fix any bugs you have found and of course the ones that are still on my own to do list then. I have not done anymore work on the program for now, I have just started my at my job again after the holidays, but will pick up where I left off within a week or so.
My suggestion is to wait until the next – more rounded version – before sending it out to anyone else. Those obvious bugs need fixing as much as possible, this will prevent a lot of duplicate bug reports and will make sure your friends can test the program without having to use workarounds.
Also, maybe even more importantly: if this program gets sent to anyone but you or me, I also need to put in some credits first. Just an About screen with credit to people who developed some packages that were used. It’s all open source (BSD license, which is much more liberal than the GPL license for example) but for some packages attribution is required, so better safe than sorry. You never know where something might end up. The next version I send you will have that About dialog with required attribution."
So there you have it, I will send out the next version I receive which will probably be in a week or just over's time to anyone who wishes to test, use and give feedback on it to improve for future versions.
If interested feel free to E-Mail me or leave a comment on the blog with your E-Mail address, I'll add you to the list and I will send it out once I have the new version. I'll make a post on the blog anyway when the new version is available.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

New database video, first results breakdown coming Sunday!

So it's been almost a week since my last post, I actually thought it had been a week but was reading the date wrong on my computer calendar, schoolboy error!

So I have a new version of the database, I have made a short video of it just to show off some of the new functionality that has been added since the last version, I will have to apologise for some of the mumbling and rambling in it, not my smoothest production!

I suggest 720p and full-screen unless you want to be looking at blurred words!
I will try sort this out in the future with better quality.

If anyone wants to give some suggestions please let me know, I'm hoping once I receive the next version of it I'll be able to send it out to anyone who's interested to test it, bug feedback etc would be useful from other people using it rather then myself as I'm sure there are things I have missed.

On that front, I have been quite lazy and have not written the bugs down that I have found and spelling mistakes, that's something I need to do before I send the feedback on to the developer this week.

Thanks to embor for suggesting filters that would be useful to have in a previous post, I've not forgotten about these or about getting the database to you in the future to try out!

I will be doing a in-depth break down of my results as well as showing my p/l since the 29th. For some reason I thought it was the 28th I began with a £50 bank, must be going senile..

I want to go into quite a bit about it, I've had a good start to the season and my bank is already into the 3 figure mark as I write this, hopefully it'll stay that way before Sunday as that will be exactly one week since I started. The last thing I want to do is get complacent for all of my bloody hard work!

It took me a while to get going, but I've gotten myself on track, I have had a few bigger losses then I should have, one today, and one on the 1st which was from a retirement but it enabled me to add a new rule for when I trade which should help potentially stop getting caught out in the future from retirements. Won't guarantee I don't get caught out (what can, if there's no live pictures?), but it will allow me to limit the damage I hope.

I can only blame myself for the bigger losses, however since the evening of the 31st December/1st January my discipline in general has been very very good, I am cutting trades for the most part nearly every single time when I need to. Only one instance today in the Brands vs Monfils match have I had a really really poor loss figure since the 31st I believe, was 4x the size of my previous single biggest loss since the 1st January, that's how poor the red figure is.

I'm past the loss, however I will be reviewing my own trading on Sunday to make sure such losses don't occur again in the future.

I will be highlighting these losses on my P/L on Sunday when I do the in-depth breakdown.

A few things I have noticed about my trading are this, the first few days I realised I still needed to make some adjustments. I've done so now mostly, which is great!

Secondly, I realised I can't talk, trade and look at instant messaging apps at the fact I already knew this but why I thought I suddenly had the power to multi-task god knows!

In fact, all of my successful sessions have come when I really concentrate on the market and record a video, I've done this, just so I can go over sessions and look back on mistakes.

I think I've just found another rule I need to look into again for my trading...close down all messaging apps before I begin!

Until Sunday..