Not so long-ago Peter Webb (Bet Angel Founder) mentioned on Twitter (@BetAngel) that he was doing a “Meet & Greet” event on the 15th July 2019 at the Bet Angel offices for anyone interested. It was only open to a maximum of 6 people, so after quickly reading the details I booked a spot.
I’m so glad I did as I found it a worthwhile day. For anyone thinking of attending a future meet and greet event let me say you will need to have realistic expectations of the event as it’s not a training/ coaching event. Which for the cost of a spot (£10 + Vat) is hardly likely? I pay my cleaning lady £25 for 2 hours cleaning every Friday and she’s a rubbish trader.
When it comes to trading there are a lot of cynics around, so it might be worth pointing out that I did this post purely because I thought others would find it useful, I was not asked or in any way encouraged to write it.
So, who is Peter Webb?
If you trade on the exchanges, I can’t believe you won’t have heard of Peter and watched some of his videos. Just in case you’re new to trading, Peter has been trading on Betfair almost since the day it opened for business in June 2000 and I can’t believe there is anyone in the world who has done it more successfully over such a prolonged period.
On the wall in the offices there is a recently dated letter from Betfair confirming how much he has traded through their exchange since he started. I never thought to ask if I could put that figure into this blog post, but it’s a mind-blowing number.
In the poker world, my other passionate hobby, there are many people who burst on the scene and make a big splash in the game but then disappear almost as quickly, never to be heard of again. Few can adapt and change over the years to stay ahead of the game as it continues to evolve, that takes someone special.
Many once great poker players can no longer cut it in the game as a player, so they earn a living trading off their past glories by selling poker books and promoting affiliate links. I’m learning fast that there are also several “traders” who are far better at marketing than they are at trading. It’s quite sad really.
Peter doesn’t just talk a good game he can back it up. He’s just as good now if not better than he ever has been. Every day is a school day for him as he constantly analyses not just the markets but his performance, looking for ways to improve.
I suppose in snooker terms you’d have to describe him as more of a Steve Davis and Stephen Hendry rather than Alex Higgins or Jimmy White. So, tons of hard work in the background studying spreadsheets rather than just relying on natural talent and a “feel” for the game. That said there can’t be too many people who can look at a pre-race market and just instinctively know which way the price on a favourite is likely to go. He wasn’t just born with that skill though he has put the hours in (thousands of them).
Continuing with the snooker analogy though it’s Davis & Hendry who have 13 world titles between them and Higgins and White with just 2. Talent will only take you so far, sadly there is no substitute for hard work.
Soon after Peter started trading on Betfair he realised that he needed some software to enable him to trade more efficiently/successfully. So, he founded Bet Angel which is, I would argue, the best overall software package out there currently. I should know because apart from Gruss I think I’ve tried them all!
I don’t want this to develop into a software review article, but I’ll say for the record that of the 3 main ones I’ve tried, Geeks , Bet Trader and Bet Angel, they all have good features and they all have things that let them down. You should just find the one that suits you best, they all have free trials available so have a look at them.
I believe though that the constant updates, improvements and the support you get from Bet Angel lifts it above the competition. If you have never tried the Bet Angel software you can access it here*
What was the event all about?
The official blurb for the session read as follows;
“This is a unique chance to come and meet an elite professional Betfair trader – Peter Webb.
The session an open session where you are free to ask whatever questions you wish. The event is designed to give you insight into what goes on behind the desk you often see on YouTube and an opportunity to give his candid thoughts on any subjects you choose to raise. In order to ensure everybody gets a chance at asking a question we will ask you to submit one before the event. But once they have been answered, you can ask what you wish.
There will only be six places available for this event, so book quickly if you are interested. There will be a small charge, which we will happily explain on the day.”
The charge was just £10 plus vat which seemed ridiculously cheap to me, but I wasn’t going to argue about it.
I was sent an agenda for the event by email, it was as follows;
We have scheduled a 10:00 am start and intend to finish at roughly 1pm. The start time should make your journey easier by avoiding rush hour…
If you are just slightly ahead of time, you are welcome to have a coffee and watch some sporting action downstairs here and take the opportunity to chat to other attendees.
We don’t have a specific agenda for you on the day as it’s intended to be an ‘open’ session. However, we suggest you reply to this email with a question that you would like to ask, and Peter will answer it on the day.”
So, the agenda was really saying there isn’t an agenda! Though because of that it did make the day very relaxed and meant no one was afraid to ask a question that they thought might sound daft.
The only stipulation made was that we didn’t record the session to allow him to speak candidly.
The Bet Angel office is located just outside Hook in Hampshire and that was the only drawback for me. I live in Worcestershire, so it should take just over 2 hours without traffic problems but there were problems, so it took me nearly three. Luckily I left in plenty of time and arrived at about 9.40 am.
The event itself
It was a lovely sunny day and as I was a little early, I got a drink (snacks and drinks were provided throughout the session) and went out the back to talk to the only other guy who’d arrived. A minute or so later the 3rd attendee arrived and then the 4th and as it turned out he was the last.
One of the 6 said they couldn’t make it prior to the day so there should have been five but the 5th person never showed. I think that 3 of us had very similar stories, we were relatively new to trading and eager to learn and we’d all used the Bet Angel software. The fourth guy was just about to start trading, but his background was financial trading, I think.
The four of us were chatting in general about our shared trading experiences and talking about the weekends historic sporting action. The session was the day after England had won the Cricket World Cup in dramatic fashion, Hamilton had won the British Grand Prix and Djokovic had won Wimbledon beating Federer in 5 sets, so we had a lot to talk about!
About 10.00 am Peter came out and joined us and we all chatted happily for quite a while. We were waiting at that point for the 5th person to turn up.
Obviously, we all started asking Peter questions on a wide variety of trading related topics as it was too good an opportunity to miss.
When we realised the last guy wasn’t coming Peter took us inside and showed us around the offices. The set-up is very impressive and must be a joy to work /trade in or just sit and watch big sporting events there.
Then we went into what looked like a training/meeting/board room which was set up for the session. The room took me back a few years. Not now but for over 25 years of my working life I was in the insurance and banking industry and for the last 20 years of that time I was a training/development officer. I still have my Certificate of Training Practice that I got through the CIPD.
I haven’t run a session for a few years now, but it still made a nice change to be on the other side of the fence.
What did I learn?
As a newbie trader you can’t really chat to Peter Webb for three and half hours and not learn some stuff even though as I said it’s not a training event. I think the pre-race guys would have got more out of it though as I now almost exclusively trade horses in-running. Peter obviously talked a lot about pre-race stuff which even I found very interesting. To say he knows his stuff is an understatement.
Very pleasingly he said how much the markets have changed over recent years and how it is becoming more difficult to do pre-race because the fluctuations as so much bigger than they used to be a few years back.
If the price of the favourite is only ever going to go up and down in-between a 4-tick parameter, you don’t need to be clever to scalp that. Where I was doing my plums was when something would drift like it had started limping on the way down to the start and I was on the wrong side of it. I’d dump my position and take the other side to try and get some back only for the price to immediately drop like a stone.
So, I was glad to hear this from Peter after trying and failing to trade pre-race for the first 3 months of my trading adventure. It made me feel a bit better about the fact that I found it so difficult. I guess like most newbies I would make profits 19 races in a row then do the lot and more on the 20th.
I wish I’d attended this session when I was trying to trade pre-race it certainly would have helped. He did say that often when a favourite drifts out it will still come back down after a few minutes if you’re patient.
He gave lots of small tips that were useful and even though my only pre-race trade nowadays is trying to get a £2 scratch trade through the market so I can watch the Betfair video he has certainly improved me.
I used to just dive on ladder one and Back/Lay ASAP to get the video. Now if there’s time I just have a little look and I see if I can spot an opportunity.
He certainly helped me to understand the way the markets trade on different types of races. For example the difficulties with a novice race versus a good quality handicap.
He also mentioned on the day that he sometimes posts things that he spots in the market on Twitter. My trading twitter account follows very few people as I don’t want it cluttered with garbage but @BetAngel is certainly worth a follow.
The posts are often quite cryptic but if you read them and have a quick look at the ladders you can often see what he is alluding to play out before your eyes.
For example, he might say something like “XXZ looks bad value at 2.5” and before long it’s 3.5
As I say I’m not so interested in pre-race anymore but if I can nick four or five easy ticks before the off, I will do. Even though I might make just 10 or 20p, at my stakes it helps and offsets those times when the market does go against me and my £2 scratch trade costs me 4p.
My overall impression is simply that Peter is not a bullshitter he has seen it and done it and I was pleased to hear Peter be honest about the realities of trading for newbies.
He told us about some upcoming improvements to the Bet Angel software which will be for in-running as well as pre-race so that sounds good.
I liked the fact that he was honest about the reasons for commercialising Bet Angel in the first place and why he continues to do so. Without the public subscribing the initial costs of creating the software along with the support offered and ongoing improvements it wouldn’t be what it is today.
What Peter didn’t say
One thing that impressed me most was what he didn’t say. At no point did he say anything derogatory about any other software company or any other trader. Even when I made a comment that gave him an open goal to say something about a particular trader, he declined to tap the ball into the net. I found that very refreshing.
When I used to train salesmen, we always urged them never to slag off the opposition because it just makes you look bad not them. It’s not professional and there is no need for it. Spin all the positives about your own company as much as you like but even if the client starts railing against your competitors you shouldn’t join in.
On Twitter I see so much trolling and snide comments about others it depresses me. It just doesn’t reflect well on the person doing it.
One thing you may not know about Peter
In Peter’s office he has a piano as he is teaching himself to play as a bit of a stress buster. He is so annoyingly good at trading that I couldn’t help but hope that he’s worse than Les Dawson on the ivories. Though I suspect no matter what level he is at now, he’ll work hard to master it.
It was a great session I really enjoyed the day and found it well worthwhile. If you live close enough to Hook in Hampshire then you should certainly grab the chance to go if he runs another meet and greet in the near future. If you are remotely serious about improving your trading it’s a no brainer for £10 (+ vat).
I feel that the money wouldn’t make the slightest bit of difference to Bet Angel or Peter personally but if it was free loads would say they wanted to go but then not bother to turn up on the day. Getting somebody to pay just a nominal fee means they will consider it more important and make the effort to turn up.
I appreciate this post may seem like a Bet Angel/ Peter Webb love fest but I assure you I have no connection to the company. (affiliate link apart, see below*) However, I defy any trader to meet him chat to him for 3.5 hours and not be entirely impressed by him.
We were all given Bet Angel mugs before we left and I use it all the time when I’m trading as a reminder of what’s possible.
If you have any questions by all means fire away in the comments box. I hope you found this blog post useful.
* The link through to the Bet Angel software is an affiliate link so if you do go ahead and purchase it through my link, I may get some commission from it. The price will be the same if you get it through my link or by going there direct and the reason I have links like this is to help offset the hosting costs etc for running my website. I used to have affiliate links to other Betfair Trading software companies but I’ve taken them off. I’m happy to promote Bet Angel but only because I genuinely believe it’s the best trading software on the market currently. The irony of me criticising ex poker players and traders in this article for making a living via affiliate links isn’t lost on me. So feel free to come on twitter and troll me (@DrainRun) about that fact. Though I’d starve to death if it was the only income I had.