So, November was a HUGE learning curve for me, attempting to learn how to trade In-Running in a way which was totally alien to everything I’d learnt since the 26th April this year.
I attended the Hunting for Profit (HFP) trading course on the 4th Nov (Blog post here if you want to read about it)
I didn’t trade at all on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Nov so the new month on my spreadsheet would just be HFP method stats.
My plan was/is to fully embrace the HFP In-Running method for at least 300 – 400 races or a month whichever was longer and then see how it’s going. I’m under no illusions about how tough it will be trying to master an entirely different way of trading. It would be unrealistic to expect to make money in the first few months. To be fair I started In-Running trading at the very end of April so did it fully through May to October and I never made a profit in any of those 6 months. Though I was losing less and less each month.
(If you haven’t seen my October Trading Update you can read it here.)
My Goal for November
I just wanted to be able to make a reasonable assessment as to whether this new method is something I should be persevering with, and I hoped not to lose too much in the process. If after the trial I think the HFP method is for me then I plan to totally abandon my old style forever.
With my old method of trading (basically Laying horses that look beaten), if I’d carried on with it in November, I’m pretty sure I could have made a small profit for the first time ever.
Nagging away though in the back of my mind I have doubts about just how good a method of trading it really is.
I could verbalise the reasons behind my thought process, but it would be tough to explain and make this already long blog post even longer.
So rather than write a very long piece on that I’ll just use the Golfer Sir Nick Faldo as an example. If you research Faldo you will see he was a very good golfer in the Mid 1980’s, good enough to make the Ryder cup team, but he knew he could be better. He was some weeks good some weeks not so good and he wanted to be better but more importantly he wanted consistency.
So, with the help off David Leadbetter he completely dismantled his already good golf swing and completely rebuilt it. He went on to win 6 Major’s and become one of the most successful British golfers of all time.
I feel I’m attempting, all be it on a very small scale, to do something similar. I’ve traded over 3,500 races from the end of April to the end of Oct to get to the point of being able to more or less break even using my old method.
At 3,500 races I think it’s fair to say I gave the old method a decent go. For reasons I won’t go into I left school early and had no qualifications to speak of or any higher education. However, I like to think I’m a reasonably savvy guy and if it’s that tough and takes that much work to get to break even then I’m not sure it’s that great a strategy.
Laying horses is fraught with danger and will always have huge swings. There is nothing more soul destroying than grinding out trade after trade winning small amounts for 20 races or so and then see 30 races worth of profits go tits up in a heartbeat. Once I went 57 races without a loss and lost the whole lot and more on race 58.
I used to have a Bet Angel mug which I loved but after race 58 I don’t have it anymore!
So that’s why I thought I’d take the HFP course and give it a go.
I know the HFP method will take lots of work and discipline on my part to stand any chance and I don’t expect instant success.
What I will say though is I’ve gained a lot of experience in the previous 10 months prior to November that I’ve been trading. (4 months pre-race, 6 months In-Running) So I would expect that experience will help and I can trade 7 days a week most weeks, so if I’m not at least good enough to break even within 3 or 4 months I’ll be a bit disappointed.
After the first week of trying the HFP method one of the hardest things I found was trying to unlearn my old method and stop myself from laying horses in-play. Below is a “Diary” for November showing my trading report and profit/loss for each day and you will see some of my biggest losses were when I slipped into my old method and really F’d up.
Anyway, that was my thinking behind the change of tactics and below is a “Diary” on my first month in the HFP academy.
Total Number of Races traded 420
Profit/Loss: Minus – £160.08
I have started using “MyBetLog” to record my results since starting with the HFP Method. The image below is taken from my account with them.
Although according to Betfair I traded 420 races some of those I just put a scratch trade in pre-race to get the video up but then I didn’t trade in-running because no opportunity arose.
When I got home from the course the first day I could have traded (5th) I didn’t as I watched loads of the training videos instead. I continue to watch more videos each week. It will take me a while to watch them all there are over 300 in the library.
I’ve learned a lot in this month and below the diary at the bottom of this post I will sum up my thoughts on what I’ve learnt what my plans are moving forward etc.
Wed 6th Nov
First day’s trading after the HFP course.
Daily Total: Plus £21.64
Traded out maybe too soon on a few trades as I was being ultra-cautious. I was worried that things maybe went too well, and it was just an easy day to trade and there would be tougher days. I found out later in the month that I was 100% correct!
Thurs 7th Nov
Two major F ups caused by lapsing back into previous L2B strategy when both horses (2 separate races) looked beaten at the business end of the race. Both went on to win from seemingly impossible positions, you couldn’t make it up. These two trades cost me £70. What a plonker.
Daily Total: Minus – £56.01
Fri 8th Nov
I found it staggering that I could, after what happened the previous day, lose another £50 with my old strategy after promising myself I would never do it again. I said earlier in this blog post that I’m a “reasonably savvy guy”, so if I’m not stupid my discipline must be utterly terrible.
The reason I lost so much on the 2 yesterday and the one today was for a couple of reasons. The obvious one being I layed a horse that won. However, what compounded the problem was I now use “stakes” and I don’t have anything set as a “maximum liability”. So just a quick click on the Lay side can have a catastrophic effect on your bank roll. Also, I used to have my Bet Angel set up with auto stop loss “servants” when I was doing L2B, but I don’t have to have that now.
Today I also had my first real problem with my new method of trading when a faller cost me £25. With the £50 old method lapse and the £25 on the faller my discipline let me down then and the wheels fell off a bit for a few races.
After the afternoon jumps races had finished, I was down £122 on the day.
I took a short break, had a cup of tea and decided to trade the evening AW flat races, though not using my new HFP strategy but my old way.
I’m determined to make a go of the new method, so this wasn’t in any way abandoning my new plan, but I just wanted to get the daily loss back down below £100. This would leave me with an amount in my bank where I wouldn’t feel it necessary to top it back up.
On the poor AW evening markets, I figured it was my best chance of grinding out the £22 I needed.
I went full on “old method” at small stakes and grinded out just over £20 over 20 races. I took no risks whatsoever and as I say this was just to save me having to top my bank back up and be able to start again on Saturday 9th. I did it thankfully, but it was hard work.
Daily Total: Minus – £97.23
Sat 9th Nov
Managed to trade the whole day 100% the HFP way. My biggest loss on the day was £6.83 and biggest win was £7.87. There were a couple of missed opportunities which I kicked myself over but other than that I didn’t make too many mistakes.
I was up one, down one all day and finished just in the green after 25 races. One thing that Matt (HFP) says is don’t look at your P&L throughout the day wait till the end.
I find this tough but it’s very good because it may stop you from chasing losses if you don’t know how much you’re losing. In the past I’ve been in a trade when the sensible thing would be to green up at say £12 profit for example, but you let it run because you know you’re £20 down on the day. By waiting the £12 green often becomes yet another red and you’ve just compounded the problem.
Number of Races traded 25
Daily Total: Plus £4.80
Sun 10th Nov
Another pretty good day. Never in any real danger.
Number of Races 16
14 Traded, 4 losses, 10 wins. Biggest loss £4.95, biggest win £6.72. This method of trading looks to have far less variance than my old method where the swings could be huge on the losses.
Daily Total: Plus £17.87
Mon 11th Nov
Terrible day. When just trying to get a scratch trade through pre-race I started off in a hole in so many races which is just depressing. There isn’t much worse than when the price needs to move 10 ticks In-Running just to get you back to level.
Also 3 times in-running I was in trades when the price just went against me for no real reason that I could see and after I traded out for a loss the price went back the way I originally wanted.
I was in a great green on two occasions and decided to enter the market again only to turn it into a loss. That’s very annoying.
Also lost £10 on a miss-click which just beggars’ belief that I can still do that.
Number of Races 13
13 Traded, 5 losses, 8 wins. Biggest loss £15.92, biggest win £5.44
Daily Total: Minus – £18.55
Tues 12th Nov
Bad day had a great opportunity to win big on a trade that was going well and didn’t take it then traded badly on others. Switching from horse to horse as everything I touched turned to shite. Copped an unfortunate one as well (faller). Almost lost my cool but managed to get a grip of myself. I may have to top up my bank or reduce stakes, neither of which I really want to do. I’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Number of Races 26
23 Traded, 8 losses, 15 wins. Biggest loss £23.80, biggest win £6.07
Daily Total: Minus – £24.52
Wed 13th Nov
Much better day got off to a great start and that gave me a bit of confidence after a couple of bad days.
Number of Races 16
14 Traded, 2 losses, 12 wins. Biggest loss £3.35, biggest win £5.95
Daily Total: Plus £25.60
Thurs 14th Nov
Almost a “boring” day, but I’ll gladly take it. No heart pumping moments which means I never really got myself into any bad trouble. Small trades throughout, I didn’t catch any big moves and my only real mistake was when I missed an obvious trade. By the time I spotted it the price was gone, so I just left it.
Number of Races 15
13 Trades, 1 loss, 12 wins. Biggest loss £1.17, biggest win £4.06
Daily Total: Plus £21.38
Fri 15th Nov
Cheltenham was cancelled so only Newcastle and Southwell. Another steady day. What seems very different with this method of trading is my biggest win is often bigger than my biggest loss. Even when it isn’t the case the loss doesn’t do irreparable damage as I’m only staking a max 5% of my bank.
With my old method a big loss was usually REALLY BIG and would wipe out the entire day. Early days but I’m starting to like this method a lot.
Number of Races 11
10 Traded, 3 losses, 7 wins. Biggest loss £1.95, biggest win £8.29
Daily Total: Plus £23.11
Sat 16th Nov
I was expecting a big day with Cheltenham and plenty of other meetings, but it was disappointing. A bitty day with no trades that really stood out for me. I was quite pleased that I held my discipline and stopped trading while there were still several races to trade as I just wasn’t feeling it. On other days like this in the past I may have tried to force things and ended up in the red.
Number of Races 18
15 Traded, 4 losses, 11 wins. Biggest loss £8.86, biggest win £4.48
Daily Total: Plus £6.63
Sun 17th Nov
Just a short day for me. My daughter was home for a visit, so I stopped early to cook her a Sunday dinner. Had a scare when my computer crashed during the first race when I had a bet in the market. Luckily, I got it back up quite quickly and I was able to immediately trade out for a small green.
Number of Races 7
6 Traded, 0 losses, 6 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £4.95
Daily Total: Plus £13.20
Mon 18th Nov
Only Plumpton (jumps) and Wolves on the AW flat to trade so for the first time I tried the HFP method during a flat race. I was surprised how well it went. I was cautious and used smaller stakes than I have been over the jumps, but my 3 best trades of the day were on the flat. Even though I only traded 10 races this is the best day of the month so far.
Number of Races 10
10 Traded, 0 losses, 10 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £8.74
Daily Total: Plus £29.95
Tues 19th Nov
In-running markets were bad today and although I was able to make a small profit I stopped early because I knew I was risking a Red day if I carried on.
Number of Races 16
12 Traded, 3 losses, 9 wins. Biggest loss £2.36, biggest win £4.44
Daily Total: Plus £11.95
Wed 20th Nov
The worst day I’ve had for a while as although I won on the day I had quite a few trades that went wrong and it easily could have gone the other way.
Number of Races 12
11 Traded, 5 losses, 6 wins. Biggest loss £6.85, biggest win £6.55
Daily Total: Plus £11.52
Image Daily 103
Thurs 21st Nov
Another day where although I made a profit, I didn’t feel it went that well. Lost £7.71 on the first race and in the past that may well have been the start of a really bad day, but I didn’t panic and was confident I’d be ok.
This new system does keep losses within manageable levels if you rigidly stick to it. I’m trading with just a small bank (£500) and using a maximum of 5% of my bank per race. No really good trades today just a few bits and pieces.
Number of Races 18
17 Traded, 5 losses, 12 wins. Biggest loss £7.71, biggest win £8.08
Daily Total: Plus £10.51
Fri 22nd Nov
After 9 winning days I upped my stakes marginally. What can I say? Made a few mistakes, then completely lost my mind. What made it terrible was I took a break then came back and made even worse decisions. It took me 9 days to reduce my losses on the month and get me back to around even then I’m back in the hole again inside a heartbeat. The last race I traded I was in the red and then tried to chase losses by laying a horse. I haven’t done this for ages. It won and cost me £67. Totally got what I deserved. In a sick way I’m glad the horse won as I think it finally drummed into my head that I must stop doing L2B bets as a way of chasing losses. In fact I must stop doing them full stop.
Number of Races 14
14 Trades, 8 losses, 6 wins. Biggest loss £66.95, biggest win £3.98
Daily Total: Minus – £109.32
Sat 23rd Nov
I dropped my stakes back down a bit after yesterday’s disaster. Another losing day but only just over £4 so after yesterday I’ll take it. At the moment I seem to have a knack of greening out too early on trades I should let run and not taking a red fast enough when it goes badly.
I only had 2 losses on the day, but they were both over £12.
Even though I sat and watched 7 races without trading I still probably traded a few races I shouldn’t have done today.
Number of Races 22
15 Traded, 2 losses, 13 wins. Biggest loss £12.96, biggest win £4.10
Daily Total: Minus – £4.14
Sun 24th Nov
After two red days I was not in the best of moods when I started trading today. I look forward to trading every day normally but today was a rarity when I wasn’t actually excited to fire up Betfair and Bet Angel.
After 3 races I would happily have stopped trading as I won 3p lost 35p and then lost £9.00. The races looked bad and there was only Navan and Uttoxeter on and both were on Racing TV (RTV) which means terrible video pictures for me.
I’ve recently had SKY TV put into my office, and I plan to sign up to RTV but I’m just hanging on till Black Friday in the hope they do a better deal than the standard 1 month free they are currently offering. When I say “my office” it sounds posh but it’s a box bedroom with “Thomas the Tank” wallpaper which was up when I moved into this house over 8 years ago!
Anyway, after the first 3 races it started to improve, and I did 8 straight small profits to finish the day. I’d reduced my stakes down a bit as the £109 red day had knocked my confidence a bit.
Number of Races 11
11 Traded, 2 losses, 9 wins. Biggest loss £9.00, biggest win £5.69
Daily Total: Plus £10.83
Mon 25th Nov
Utterly terrible day and all of it down to me. I traded too many races where there was no safe trade and I was trying to force things. My execution was poor, and my decision making was worse.
I intend to take the day off tomorrow (Tuesday) to clear my head and come back to it on Wednesday. I will spend some of the day watching more training videos and I may well reduce my stakes even further for Wednesday. Though I’ll see how I feel about that on Wednesday.
Didn’t make a note of trade stats as I was so annoyed, I just logged off.
Daily Total: Minus – £77.24
Tues 26th Nov
Well I intended not to trade watched a load of training vids and stuff and thought I was ready to go again. Started late, missed a lot of the early races and started OK but it quickly went downhill.
Number of Races 9
8 Traded, 4 losses, 4 wins. Biggest loss £15.15, biggest win £3.57
Daily Total Minus – £20.38
Wednesday 27th Nov
Much better day read a load of old posts in the Academy area of the HFP Skype room and one long post stood out for me. To paraphrase it was from someone who says he doesn’t post much but felt as a longer-term member who is now doing well, he felt obligated to give a bit back to the group. His advice was offered as he’d seen lots of posts from the fresh meat in the academy basically making the same mistakes he and his piers had done previously.
Without giving too much away he basically said don’t try and get too clever just go for the really obvious trades and stick to those while you’re learning.
Today I did just that and it worked well. Quite a few of the races had very thin markets In-Running but I was still able to get a few decent trades out of the day. In fact, I’ve reduced my stakes a bit so the profit percentage wise is much better than it has been. I actually could have let a couple of greens run a bit longer for bigger profits, but I think I was mentally scarred a bit from the previous 2 days, so I was being ultra-cautious.
Number of Races 11
8 Traded, 0 losses, 8 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £3.64
Daily Total: Plus £13.93
Thurs 28th Nov
Another day with low stakes and high caution before entering a market. I went OK but one race mystified me a bit. Luckily, I had my screen recorder going so I can re-watch the video later this evening. If I’m brave enough, I might send it to Matt (HFP) for him to analyse it for me.
Number of Races 17
16 Traded, 2 losses, 14wins. Biggest loss £3.08, biggest win £2.76
Daily Total: Plus £12.54
Fri 29th Nov
Disjointed day as I had to stop very early as I had a work-related meeting to go to, but then I came back later and traded a few of the evening AW flat racing.
I recorded my screen a couple of times today again. I have sorted out the recordings a bit better, as the one I did yesterday wasn’t good enough quality to share with Matt.
I have sent one of them to Matt where although I made a small profit, I didn’t execute the trade very well. I will be interested to get his feedback. I have re-watched it myself and certainly spotted something I could/should have acted on, but I’m sure Matt will have more for me.
Best part of the day was getting the “Black Friday deal” for Racing TV. 12 months for £10 per month absolute bargain and worth waiting for.
Number of Races 14
14 Traded, 5 losses, 9 wins. Biggest loss £3.98, biggest win £5.24
Daily Total: Plus £4.45
Sat 30th Nov
Lots of races today and I perhaps would have been better off not trying to trade too many of them.
Number of Races Traded 31
31 Trades, 7 losses, 24 wins. Biggest loss £8.00, biggest win £6.86
Daily Total: Plus £4.45
Summary and My Conclusions
So, I lost £160 on the month and I estimate at least £187 of losses in the month were due to total stupidity and ill-discipline on my part. No training course in the world can stop someone being a complete pillock if they’re determined to be one.
Overall, I really enjoyed the month. I think this method may well be good for me in the long term, if I can just stick to it and not lapse back into old methods when panicking if I’m in the red at the business end of a race.
If I’m honest I traded far too many races through the month as I was super keen to get involved with the HFP strategies. Some of the races there was no safe trade to be had and I need to stop entering a market just for the sake of it.
My aim for December is to stick to the obvious trades and if I can do that and avoid lapses of discipline then I shouldn’t be losing anywhere near £160 next month.
I will update my progress again in a new blog post at the end of December.
It’s still too early to say for certain, but at this early stage if you held a gun to my head and made me choose between my old method of trading In-Running and the Hunting for Profit method, I’d say HFP offers me the best chance of long term success.
I think I’ve almost purged myself of my old method of trading already and I’m glad I get to restart the clock on a new month.
Stay Green everyone and thanks for reading.