Limbo Trading
Betfair Trading,  In-Running

Limbo Trading

Here is my May 2020 Betfair trading update. Away from trading I’ve suddenly got incredibly busy with my online business so doing the US races early evenings has suited me well throughout May.

Although I’ve enjoyed the US racing and had “fun” with it, it has felt like I’m in limbo just passing time, waiting for the UK & Irish racing to return.

Bottom line for May

A very disappointing 6 Red days and an overall Red month of £61.89

After a couple of bad reds, I dropped my liability dramatically on the 11th May, and that virtually locked in a red for the month. I wasn’t interested in chasing the losses as I just wanted to get things set up and ready for June.

I let my trading standards slip whilst messing around with the US racing but I’m not going to be too hard on myself.

May was a bit like the last day at school, no proper lessons just playing games and having fun.

Below is my daily report which I write at the end of trading each day and underneath that are my thoughts and plans for June.

May 1st

OK so Tampa it is. Good steady start to the month with 2 easy trades on races 2 & 3. The pace was holding up really well this evening and it offered some golden opportunities.

I actually missed an easy trade on race 1 as I couldn’t see the horse I was looking for till it was too late and the price had gone. I use liability rather than stakes, so I don’t try to lay anything over 11 (10/1) as it just isn’t worth it.

Some of the guys in the “Back For Profit” Telegram room I’m in, have their Bet Angel servants set so they do not allow a lay to be placed at anything over 8.0, I’m not that strict about it but there is no point risking your whole liability to lay a 20/1 shot.

Number of Races 3

Traded 2, 0 losses, 2 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £5.76

Daily Total: Plus £10.53

Tampa Bay Horse races

May 2nd

Saturday evening and Tampa on again. They have meetings Fri, Sat & Sunday every week when their season is on. Really getting the hang of the track now.

Would have stopped a bit earlier but my daughter was playing Red Dead 2 on the PlayStation and I’m playing it as well and I don’t like to watch her as she’s ahead of me and it spoils it for me.

Number of Races 7

Traded 5, 0 losses, 5 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £8.19

Daily Total: Plus £18.29

May 3rd

Sunday evening at Tampa, couldn’t get any decent trades in but 5 small ones. All green though so that is the main thing.

Number of Races 6

Traded 5, 0 losses, 5 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £3.14

Daily Total: Plus £12.61

May 4th

Damn got caught out by a horse coming way off the pace at Will Rodgers. The market was too thin to trade out in any meaningful way so took a big loss.

Got a nice B2L trade a little later in the evening, which was good but overall a bad day.

Number of Races 10

Traded 5, 1 loss, 4 wins. Biggest loss £70.17, biggest win £10.39

Daily Total: Minus -£48.22

Will Rodgers Downs

May 5th

No messing tonight, in and out quickly. Just 3 races and banked the money and switched off Bet Angel.

Number of Races 3

Traded 3, 0 losses, 3 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £10.78

Daily Total: Plus £18.85

May 6th

Again one from way off the pace at Will Rodgers cost me big time. At least I had the sense to switch Bet Angel off immediately. There is no coming back from this size of loss in one evening, so I know switching off is the best thing to do. It looked so out of it I clicked it twice and when it started to improve, and the price started going south I could only get about half out.

Will Rodgers isn’t as consistent pace wise as Tampa so I’m going to have to give some thought about the way I’m trading it.

Number of Races 5

Traded 2, 1 loss, 1 win. Biggest loss £97.41, biggest win £7.53

Daily Total: Minus -£89.88

May 7th

No USA races today. Had a long phone chat with my mentor Andrew Banthorpe and we covered a lot of ground. Concentrated for the most part on the big reds I get from time to time.

He had a couple of very good suggestions one which others in the group routinely use regarding staking.

What I may well do is change to a % of bank. (I have always used a fixed liability before).

As you’ll be aware you can Lay or Back to a fixed stake or liability.  The liability is normally a monetary amount of say £10 or £100 for example and that’s the most you can lose (with one click).

What some in the Telegram group do though, is have the liability set to 2% or 5% of their current bank. (You can set it to whatever % you feel)

So on a 5% setting if you have £100 in your bank your liability is set to £5 and for a £1,000 bank the liability would start at £50. That means you’d have to be pretty terrible to lose your entire bank.

I still after a year of trading In-Running (IR) have times when I lay a winner, but I can’t see me ever laying anything like 20 consecutive winners.

Using £100 as an example bank, if your 1st trade were a total loss your next trade would have a liability of £4.75 (5% of £95).

On a positive note, the idea is that if you are reasonably successful your bank will grow over time and your stakes along with it.

There are members in the Telegram room who started with B4P with a £25 bank or less and have built it up to a very impressive amount.

Building up that way means that as you get better and better your stakes slowly but surely increase almost without you noticing. That way there is no pressure every time you think shall I up my stakes from X to Y.

Since I joined B4P, I’ve not deposited into Betfair and in fact I haven’t done so since January. That is a huge step forward for me, but I’m still liable to lose more than I should with the odd crazy big red.

I’ve always felt that my poker background has meant I’ve staked too high since I very first started trading and I’m probably still doing it now if I’m honest. A nongambler or non-poker player when first trying trading would think “risking” £5 per race is quite enough.

I think because of the stakes I’ve played poker at over the years I don’t really give a £50 or £100 loss the respect it deserves.

Normally I’m not the slightest bit interested in pre-race stuff, but Steve Howe who is a pre-race trader did a short video about “Bank Protection” which you can watch here. It’s certainly worth 6 minutes of your time.

A lot of what he talks about is valid for any type of trading.

Steve Howe

Not come to a decision yet but I’m leaning towards the % of bank method and may well change my bet Angel Servants in the coming days.

May 8th

No real time today to change BA servants so left stakes as before.

Daughter cooked my tea and I went down after 1st race to eat it and as we were sat in the garden eating it, I had a beer. Decided to stay and have another couple rather than go back upstairs to trade!

Number of Races 1

Traded 1, 0 losses, 1 win. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £3.28

Daily Total: Plus £3.28

May 9th

Small red today after I got a B2L wrong. Not pleased with myself after such a good start with R1

I’m going to try and finish work earlier tomorrow and change my servants to % of bank.

Number of Races 7

Traded 5, 1 loss, 4 wins. Biggest loss £25.26, biggest win £14.49

Daily Total: Minus -£4.40

Trading Update

May 10th

Day off!

May 11th

OK so earlier today after my discussions on May 7th I changed my BA servants to 5% of bank as a maximum liability. *See May 7th above if you’ve not read it.

To start from a low level and challenge myself to work hard building it up I have withdrawn money from my Betfair account. It’s the 1st time I’ve made a withdrawal from Betfair since I stopped Matched Betting!

As a result, I’ve reduced my bank down to just £200.

This means drastically reduced stakes to start with. That will almost certainly mean I cannot finish in the green for the month, but I think that doing this right is more important than chasing a few losses. I’ve had loads of Red months since I started trading, one more won’t make much difference.

I toyed with the idea of carrying on as I was till the end of the month and then changing but I want to try and get used to it by the time UK racing starts again.

The lower stakes into the thinner US markets is probably a sensible thing to do. Especially at Will Rodgers where I’ve been caught out a few times lately. I can’t seem to judge the pace there like I can at Tampa.

Anyway I wrote all that prior to racing so lets see how it goes.

OK so I think maybe I should have left a bit more in my bank than £200 as the £10 liability seemed a bit low, but it does allow me to trade with total confidence.

I kept falling foul of the £2 min bet on Betfair and although the Bet Angel software can handle it, it delays things by an extra few milliseconds doing the calculation. A few milliseconds IR can make a world of difference.

Some of the amounts I got matched were laughable, but I will probably leave it until the UK & Ire starts again.

All the first 6 trades I made were L2B but the last one was a B2L. I have extremely limited experience with B2L but when it works it is good profit wise.

The last race I traded was the 1st race at Fonner and the fav broke well and got an uncontested lead. The pace normally holds up there and the 2nd fav was out the back, so it looked very safe to me.

With the stakes I was using I was pleased with the trade.

Fonner Park Trading

Number of Races 7

Traded 7, 0 losses, 7 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £3.19

Daily Total: Plus £5.41

May 12th

Quite pleased with something that happened to today. I layed a winner which normally wouldn’t be cause for celebration, BUT I lost only a very small % of my total liability. That is a huge step forward for me.

With my liability currently just a fraction over £10, I layed a winner but it only cost me £1.53 so that’s a big improvement. As soon as I saw things had changed in the race I instantly exited the trade. Pleased with myself!

Number of Races 6

Traded 6, 1 loss, 5 wins. Biggest loss £1.53, biggest win £0.94

Daily Total: Plus £0.69

May 13th

Again today I was the victim of the extra calculation needed to take place to get the penny sized bets worked out.

This tiny extra delay means that instead of getting my lay bets fully matched I’m only getting 20% – 40% of my lay bet matched as the price moves out. The other 3 or 4 fifths are deleted by the fill or kill.

This means annoyingly that when I spot a good trade, I’m not getting full value on the stakes I’m using.

The 2 bigger wins this evening were both B2L bets where I generally get all of it matched. Anyway, onwards an upward.

The big loss was because I momentarily forgot I don’t have to trade every race.

Number of Races 14

Traded 11, 1 loss, 9 wins. (1 scratch) Biggest loss £4.17, biggest win £5.39

Daily Total: Plus £3.36

Betfair Trading

May 14th

No trading today

May15th

1st race loss was something that’s happened a couple of times recently. I was overly cautious and waited too long to get in on the Fav which started badly and was way out the back. Everyone else in the Telegram group was in and out of the trade easily before I got in.

It then pulled off a minor miracle to win from where it was. Anyway, didn’t lose too much and got into the green for the day.

On another positive note we got confirmation that Irish racing is to return on the 8th June.

Number of Races 4

Traded 3, 1 loss, 2 wins. Biggest loss £1.44, biggest win £3.32

Daily Total: Plus £2.79

May 16th

I’m not normally one for excuses but technology conspired against me in the first race. My WiFi dipped in and out and BA seemed to freeze and when I clicked to place a L2B bet it didn’t appear to be taken. So I clicked again.

I didn’t think that had been taken either but after an inordinate delay it turned out I’d gotten both bets taken. Then the damn live stream of the race froze. (Normally the feed from the USA is rock solid, way better than from UK tracks).

The horse made great strides while I couldn’t see it and by the time I could I was unable to save much from the wreckage of the trade.

The second race was 100% down to me. I entered a trade that I shouldn’t have.

Number of Races 7

Traded 6, 2 losses, 4 wins. Biggest loss £12.75, biggest win £3.55

Daily Total: Minus -£15.59

May 17th

No races today.

May 18th

Not great today the live stream from Will Rodgers was really poor. Normally the BF video is about 6 seconds ahead of Sky Sports Racing, but it wasn’t today.

Got a couple of tiny trades through and gave up.

Number of Races 4

Traded 3, 0 losses, 3 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £0.86

Daily Total: Plus £1.06

May 19th

My review of Back for Profit had gone live yesterday and I’ve been so busy today and yesterday talking to people on Zoom who are interested in joining B4P after reading about it.

Trading is a solitary pastime normally, so I enjoyed chatting on Zoom with the other traders.

Anyway I watched the first race at Will Rodgers and there was no safe trade for me and then I got a decent trade on the 2nd race. As mentioned previously I’ve dropped by stakes right down to approximately a £10 liability on the US races, so a £3.01 profit is pretty good.

Early finish tonight as it had been a long day.

Number of Races 2

Traded 1, 0 losses, 1 win. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £3.01

Daily Total: Plus £3.01

May 20th

A great day for US racing with both Tampa and Will Rodgers Downs on. These two tracks are on at a more social time than Fonner Park and Remington which are strictly for the night owls.

I really wanted to watch longer and trade some more races but I know that my messing around with the US races has to stop soon. So I’m trying to ween myself back off the “fun trading” to pass time during lockdown and get ready for the serious stuff again.

There is a lot to be said for the US racing, for one thing there is very little tactical riding going on, the stalls open and it’s just “jump and go”.

Number of Races 4

Traded 4, 0 losses, 4 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £1.83

Daily Total: Plus £3.13

May 21st

No US races today.

May 22nd

Awful nights trading this evening. I don’t mean I lost loads it was just terrible races which didn’t fit the profile of races I’m looking for. I’ve been very relaxed about my criteria lately but there were still races that were un-tradeable.

Every time I spotted an opportunity the chance had gone and I’d missed the price, hence my “wins” if you can call them that were for pennies.

Lone Star Park had its first meeting of the season, but the liquidity was poor. Tampa got about £170,000 per race av but the first at LS got £57,000.

Anyway, switched off and went downstairs to watch the “Last Dance” about Michael Jordan on Netflix. Enjoying it so far.

Number of Races 11

Traded 7, 1 loss, 5 wins. Biggest loss £1.43, biggest win £0.22

Daily Total: Minus – £0.92

May 23rd

OK so this maybe one of the last few days for Tampa. It has been great “fun” overall but playtime has to end soon.

I have to get back into serious mode now!

I plan to make a start re-reading and re-watching all the training information on the Back for Profit website in readiness for the UK races re-start.

Number of Races 5

Traded 5, 1 loss, 4 wins. Biggest loss £6.50, biggest win £2.02

Daily Total: Plus £1.35

May 24th

No Trading today

May 25th

I tried to trade just 2 races this evening as most of the other races didn’t match my “normal” selection criteria. During the last few weeks of US trading I’ve reduced my stakes and lowered my standards.

However, in readiness for the UK racing return I have mentally switched back to having my serious head on!

As a result, I didn’t get much!

The one race I missed the price and got so little matched that I won 9p.

The other race I scratched being very cautious. Weirdly I felt I traded the race well. There were good reasons to enter the trade initially but one of those reasons evaporated with about 4 furlongs to go, so rather than take any chance whatsoever, I traded out immediately.

The horse didn’t win in the end and I could have got my back bets matched for a winning trade if I’d left it, but long term the way I traded out was the best decision.

Reducing those potential big losses is what I’d most like to improve about my trading. So what looks results wise like a pretty poor evenings trading was actually time well spent I feel.

Number of Races 5

Traded 2, 0 losses, 1 win. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £0.09

Daily Total: Plus £0.09

May 26th

No trading today

May 27th

Tampa race meeting this evening.

Anyway it went OK the races got better liquidity as they went on. Really hot and sunny today so definite BBQ weather and that may have had an effect on the earlier races.

Number of Races 5

Traded 4, 0 losses, 4 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £1.72

Daily Total: Plus £4.06

May 28th

No US racing today.

May 29th

Tampa tonight, and just the one trade. For once my timing was spot on. In readiness for the UK racing return I deposited some money back into my BF account to get it back up to £500.

With my new liability amount set to 5% of bank (5% of £500 = £25 liability) I don’t expect to be winning large amounts for some time. However, if I could find trades as easy as the first race this evening, I’d have my bank built up in no time.

The odds-on Fav ran like a drain and I clicked the Lay button twice, though to be honest I could have just kept clicking till either my bank was empty, or my finger was hurting.

Tampa Bay Downs Trading

Number of Races 1

Traded 1, 0 losses, 1 win. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £16.98

Daily Total: Plus £16.98

May 30th

Today was the last Tampa meeting before UK racing re-starts, so I was disappointed to end on a red, and even more annoyed with how and why it happened.

The fact I was about £53.50 in the red for the month cost me the loss. £49.99 sounds so much less than £50 so as I knew how much I was down I just wanted to get under £50.

I missed one easy trade earlier where I was too slow but the other races didn’t offer much. If I didn’t know my running score for the month and it wasn’t the last day (No US stuff tomorrow) it wouldn’t have bothered me and I would have just switched off after the first 3 or 4 races and called it a day.

But I kept going and tried to push things and ended up doing a stupid B2L to lose £9.72. I knew that was the end of any hope I had of a green day so I instantly switched off Bet Angel in disgust.

To say I was livid with myself is an understatement.

Number of Races 6

Traded 6, 1 loss, 4 wins, 1 scratch, Biggest loss £9.72, biggest win £0.99

Daily Total: Minus – £8.37

Summary

I hate people who make excuses, so I’ll just say I had a losing month and its no ones fault but mine. The reasoning behind why I traded like a loose goose are not justification, just an explanation for it.

I have self-isolated for about 10 weeks now. I’ve strictly adhered to lockdown; I have my shopping delivered and apart from one daily walk I’ve not left the house. I haven’t seen my 2 grandchildren since this started.

Time has passed very slowly waiting for UK racing to re-start

From a boredom point of view having Tampa and a couple of other US tracks to trade throughout May has been a godsend. I’ve missed going out socially and this is the longest I’ve ever gone without playing poker in over 43 years. (I don’t count online poker).

So without trading as a release it would have been tougher for sure.

The B4P method is very disciplined and has such strict trade entry rules that if I’d followed it to the letter on the US racing, I might have gone 2 or 3 days without a trade! With often just one meeting an evening it would be quite testing.

When there are 3 or 4 meetings a day on in the UK & Ireland, then watching 10 or 15 races without trading one isn’t that difficult, because you know an absolute beauty will come along at some point.

So on the US races I let my standards slip and I got what I deserved.

If there is a positive, then one thing Tampa has taught me is, specializing on a particular track or tracks isn’t a bad idea. If Tampa had the liquidity and was on every night and that was all I was allowed to trade I could do OK with it I’m sure.

Plans for June

So, June is going to be like a new beginning for me. I feel as if I’m starting all over again with B4P because me and most others in the Telegram room have been treating the US stuff as a bit of fun.

I spent several hours on Sunday 31st May, in the B4P training academy, re-reading all the training stuff and watching videos.

The halt on UK racing came at a bad time for me, having not long started learning the B4P method it was so annoying when I had to more or less put my development on hold. Worse still I may have gotten into some bad habits messing around with Tampa etc.

In the last three months since I joined B4P, Andrew has accomplished a minor miracle with me. He has turned me from being a consistent losing trader to a scratch trader. (My results since 25th Feb bear this out).

He calls that step one. Step two is to become a consistent winning trader.

Only time will tell whether step one or two will prove to be the most difficult!

Playtime is Over

UK racing resumes at Newcastle June 1st so the messing around HAS to stop RIGHT NOW. No more trading races that don’t fit the criteria, no more boredom trades, in fact no more days where I trade more than 4 races.

To reset the clock and make this a new start, I’ve withdrawn the small excess above £500 from my BF account to make it easier for me to see how I’m doing from June 1st onward.

I don’t like adding pressure to myself but I’m expecting a Green June. One thing I can confidently predict is, I won’t be having 6 Red days that’s for sure.

5 Comments

  • Paul

    I’ve quite enjoyed trading the US races this last few weeks and I think it is because you get used to the one or 2 courses so know when it’s too late to react. I’ve enjoyed reading your monthly updates and feel I can relate to your up and down journey. Now with the UK racing I’m not sure I’ll keep up with it all so like you will have firmer criteria before placing trades.and your advice is much appreciated. Good luck for June!!

    • runlikeadrain

      Thanks Paul, for taking the time to comment, I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading my updates.

      Lets hope we are both green through June!

  • Si

    Great read there Dave, didn’t trade the US found the flying numbers too distracting. Just concentrated on Aus as there’s more choice and a good time to hone in on the shorter distance race which I dislike to sharpen up. Like yourself I’ve had my reds during lockdown but coming away hopefully with some knowledge. GL with June all the green Si 👍

    • runlikeadrain

      Si,

      I’m not a morning person so the Aus racing doesn’t suit me! I’ve been very impressed with your Aus results though.

      I felt when UK & Ireland races stopped that I’d almost got the jumps racing worked out, but was very nervous about the upcoming flat season. The US racing has taught me that the methods I’m trying now will work perfectly well on the flat.

      I’m being ultra cautious so far in June just 3 trades in 2 days so far! (3/3)

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