Betfair Trading,  In-Running

Two Steps Back, My January Update

January Trading Update

January was a horror show for me results wise.

Over the last few months lots of people have commented on my twitter account either in the replies or via DM that they like my honesty about my trading results. Well I’ve got to tell you there were points in the month of Jan when I was thinking to myself “I can’t post these results up”.

It’s totally embarrassing that I’ve had such a dreadful month, my worst by a long way since I switched to In-Running from pre-race on 26th April 2019.

At the start of the month if you’d told me I was going to end the month in the red I’d have been surprised such was my confidence level at the end of December.


Overall this month, I’ve lost £459 and if you’d said I would lose that much I’d have thought the only way I could do was if my Betfair account got hacked.

How did it happen?

A combination of factors, one being I had started to get so confident with it that I raised my stakes a fair bit and on some of my worst days (not all of them) I steadfastly refused to lower them again when I was having a bad run.

Lack of discipline as always was the biggest factor.

Anyway, more on this and my thoughts for moving forward in the summary at the bottom of the post.

Directly below is my daily report which I write at the close of racing each day. Not sure about for you but when I read through it now, at the end of the month, it is weird how my views change, but I’ve left it as written on each day. To me it highlights the rollercoaster of emotions that trading puts me through.

Jan 1st (New Year’s Day)

What a start to the year! Yesterday on the last day of 2019 I had my best daily profit ever and today I smashed that to set a new record!

I felt early in the day that there were too many races and a lot of them ran one into another with a lot of split screen action. I made a few mistakes early in the day partly because of that but as I got into the rhythm I traded pretty well.

Number of Races 36

35 Traded, 4 losses, 31 wins. Biggest loss £12.15, biggest win £7.79

Daily Total: Plus £81.40

Jan 2nd

You can always rely on trading to kick you in the dangly bits if you start to get a bit cocky. After a fantastic few days at the end of Dec and yesterday, I took a beating today.

Got caught cold on the first two AW flat races and layed both winners to be nearly £64 down! I’ve not done too many flat races recently as I haven’t needed to, so I wasn’t into the rhythm of them for quite a bit of the day.

Of course, when you’re having a bad day lots of things go wrong and I got into a real mess on a jumps race as well which I haven’t done for quite a while.

Number of Races 20

20 Traded, 6 losses, 14 wins. Biggest loss £37.70, biggest win £4.61

Daily Total: Minus – £79.51

3rd Jan

So back to what for the last week or so has been a pretty normal day for me. My only F up was the £8 loss the others were just very small losses on the flat races where I didn’t really get involved.

Number of Races 18

16 Traded, 4 losses, 12 wins. Biggest loss £8.03, biggest win £8.55

Daily Total: Plus £33.66

4th Jan

Weird day. I didn’t really get into it for the first 12 – 15 races. I felt a bit tired (no idea why) and not really on it, but I used small stakes and took no risks. Steadily built up some small wins and with just one very small loss I slowly accumulated a decent day.

Number of Races 25

24 Traded, 1 loss, 23 wins. Biggest loss £0.63, biggest win £5.14

Daily Total: Plus £40.64

5th Jan (Sunday)

Pretty poor days racing. Only Naas on RTV and Plumpton & Southwell AW flat on Betfair video. Quite a few of the early jumps races had only 3 or 4 runners and I’ve learnt from painful experience that small runner fields over jumps are very dangerous if you are laying horses. If anything falls the prices crash in and you can be left with no seat when the music stops.

Plumpton had a huge delay so with only 3 meetings we continually had 2 races going round at the same time.  (I didn’t know till after the racing had finished that a horse had died. That always saddens me).

Also had a funny one at Plumpton when there were just 3 horses in it. 2 were neck and neck fighting for the win and the 3rd was tailed off. We had great commentary on the battle for the win but unfortunately the cameraman was having a mare as he only had the 3rd horse in shot for the business end of the race.

I did get caught out with a strong favourite faller that made the one I was laying crash in, so I had to take a £13.35 loss or risk a huge loss.

I wasn’t really in the groove today so I dropped my stakes a bit.

Number of Races 17

15 Traded, 1 loss, 14 wins. Biggest loss £13.35, biggest win £5.47

Daily Total: Plus £19.20

6th Jan

Only 2 afternoon meetings (I don’t do the evening races very often) one on RTV and one Betfair.

I was heading for a clean sweep of greens but lost 89p on the last race. I didn’t want to spoil the day, so I traded out for a small red being overly cautious.

Number of Races 13

13 Traded, 1 loss, 12 wins. Biggest loss £0.89, biggest win £7.50

Daily Total: Plus £33.77

7th Jan

Another poor days racing, 2 meetings in the afternoon and just one of RTV. I didn’t do anything to terrible but made a few unforced errors which are annoying. Didn’t get really into it but a green day.

Number of Races 15

15 Traded, 3 losses, 12 wins. Biggest loss £7.95, biggest win £8.08

Daily Total: Plus £20.65

8th Jan

Total disaster on the flat. I wasn’t this bad on the flat 6 months ago. Worse still today was the day when I raised my stakes up a bit!

At the time of writing this I haven’t yet watched the replay of the problem race. 14.00 pm Newcastle, the winner went for the whip early but bolted up.

When I layed the winner of the 16.45 pm I wisely turned my PC off.

Number of Races 11

11 Traded, 2 losses, 9 wins. Biggest loss £99.00, biggest win £9.38

Daily Total: Minus – £88.99

Daily 117 goes here

9th Jan

Not much I can say.

Number of Races 10

10 Traded, 2 losses, 8 wins. Biggest loss £293.88, biggest win £9.93

Daily Total: Minus – £285.74

10th Jan

Elwood cost me £200 + and when I watched the replay it still didn’t look like it was going to win. When the leader fell at the last fence I was in a no win situation, take a definite big loss or risk a very big loss. The fact that Elwood had to take evasive action to avoid being brought down by the faller meant I decided to risk it.

After that race I should have either stopped or reduced stakes but carried on and was found myself basically gambling on the 13.15 pm clicking buttons in hope.

Finally made a good decision and switched of my PC and went down to watch TV.

My bank is almost gone again and I need to give this some thought.

Number of Races 5

5 Traded, 2 losses, 3 wins. Biggest loss £209.72, biggest win £7.42

Daily Total: Minus – £223.85

11th Jan

After a long think and a bit of looking back over my recent results I decided on a plan of attack. I always seem to be able to win when I don’t try too hard and only go for small wins. My thinking was that as I was £448.77 down for the month, I only need to win just over £21 per day each day for the rest of the month to wipe out my losses.

Having this blog is a great motivator to me as it means I must take the losses seriously. Having to write up your failures means you really don’t want them.

As I was down to just under £100 in my Betfair account, I decided to load up for another £100 and just try and trade normally all be it with slightly smaller stakes than I have been using lately.

Ended up with a great days trading by my standards. I tried to pick my spots more carefully so on some races I won very small amounts because no real risk-free opportunity arose, but on others I lumped in a bit more lay money.

Weirdly with slightly lower stakes I had what I think is my biggest single profit on a race to date (£17.43) when absolutely everything in the race went right for me.

Number of Races 30

30 Traded, 3 losses, 27 wins. Biggest loss £10.41, biggest win £17.43

Daily Total: Plus £65.19

12th Jan

I could see that with only 2 jumps meetings I wasn’t going to be able to win anywhere near what I did yesterday, but I accepted that. I figured £20 + would be OK though. Then 2nd race Chosen Hour costs me £26.12

After I layed it, it started to perform a lot like Elwood did a couple of days ago, so at least I learnt my lesson and took a £26 loss rather than risk £70. So annoying as he was running like he’d be pulled up on the 1st lap.

Worked hard to reduce the deficit for the day and it was going OK till Rocky’s Silver in the 14.10 pm blew another hole in my bank.

Prior to the start of racing yesterday I calculated what I needed to win per day to break even on the month. Now if I’m to make a profit for January then it matters less how much I win on my winning days, what I can’t afford to do is have another losing day.

Number of Races 21

21 Traded, 4 losses, 17 wins. Biggest loss £26.12, biggest win £6.71

Daily Total: Minus – £11.85

13th Jan

Some days trading seems to be the hardest thing in the world. Some days it all just falls into place. For me, my best days seem to come when I trade defensively not trying to win but concentrating 100% on not losing.

Only 2 meetings, 1 flat and 1 jump. None on RTV so I didn’t hold out much hope today. I dropped my stakes a bit because of those two facts and decided to go ultra-cautious.

It worked out well as I won a stress free £25 whilst processing some orders for my online business!

Number of Races 11

11 Traded, 0 losses, 11 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £4.41

Daily Total: Plus £25.56

14th Jan

Quite an eventful day. Betfair “live” in play video stopped using flash so all the Sky Sports Racing races (which was just Doncaster today) were about 8 seconds behind live today. This is totally unusable for In-Running.

The old Betfair pictures were about 1.5 – 2 seconds behind live and comparable to the Racing TV pictures if you have a subscription. Today though they were miles behind.

My subscription to the HFP is to finish soon but luckily as I’m still in it I saw a post in the Skype room mentioning Betdaq and saying he thought they might be quicker. I checked it out and found they were still using Flash and they were the same as they used to be on Betfair.

So, I was able to trade the last two races at Doncaster using them.

Hopefully Betfair will be able to sort this out going forward because In-running on an 8 second delay is ridiculous to even attempt it. That didn’t stop me attempting it on the 1st race at Doncaster though!

I thought I could at least do tick offset and knick a couple of quid, but I got exactly what I deserved and lost £6.91. Lesson learned. The funny thing is I don’t do tick offset any more on RTV races so why I thought I could do it with an 8 second delay is anyone’s guess.

That brain fart aside I did well today.

Number of Races 10

10 Traded, 1 loss, 9 wins. Biggest loss £6.91, biggest win £5.27

Daily Total: Plus £21.81

15th Jan

So tired today as I left home at 4.45 am to drive to an important meeting. As I work from home 95% of the time, I don’t normally get up till about 9.30 am.

Did OK today and was heading for a race average of about £3 per race but it just dipped on the last couple of races.

On a positive note Betfair sorted out their recent problems with the in-play video latency. The fact that hundreds of In-Running Traders reactivated their @Betdaq accounts yesterday finally got Betfair to pull their finger out.

They knew about this months ago and did nothing, but one days loss of IR liquidity stirred them into action. All of a sudden, they care about customers!

Number of Races 13

13 Traded, 2 losses, 11 wins. Biggest loss £0.94, biggest win £9.80

Daily Total: Plus £37.14

16th Jan

Was really looking forward to today with 3 meetings over jumps and all on RTV but Wincanton was called off.

Still a decent day with only one real error when I lost £8.09 on what would have been my last race of the day. I was hovering to take a £2 red on Square Viviani, which would only have been 50p overall as I was green for £1.50 on another horse. Decided to let it run. What a numpty.

As a punishment I made myself trade the 4.30 pm and 5.00 pm at Newcastle to get back over the £40 mark for the day. (I really don’t like Newcastle very much)

Number of Races 15

15 Traded, 2 losses, 13 wins. Biggest loss £8.09, biggest win £11.72

Daily Total: Plus £40.10

17th Jan

Slightly annoying day had a bit of bad luck with the Betfair video. It went off just after I’d made a lay and when I got pictures back up, I was in real trouble for a £25 red.

Other than that, it was sort of OK. Just Muss on RTV and the rest on Betfair.

Number of Races 19

19 Traded, 2 losses, 17 wins. Biggest loss £25.97, biggest win £6.00

Daily Total: Plus £23.81

18th Jan

Decent day plenty of meetings and quite a few of them on RTV. Made one annoying stupid mistake for a £7 red other than that I did ok.

Number of Races 26

26 Traded, 2 losses, 24 wins. Biggest loss £7.46, biggest win £14.78

Daily Total: Plus £61.53

19th Jan

Total disaster in the first race. I normally use smaller stakes and take it easy in the first race or two of the day. I’d got a £2 green before we got to the business end but for some reason, I thought it would a good idea to lay something else over the 2nd last. Got what I deserved.

F’d up the whole day in the blink of an eye.

Number of Races 19

19 Traded, 3 losses, 16 wins. Biggest loss £129.27, biggest win £13.43

Daily Total: Minus – £80.11

20th Jan

Same thing as yesterday, one big loss and spent the rest of the day grinding out wins to try and claw it back. Annoyingly my per race average win excluding the £74 loss was about £4.60 which is getting up to the level I’d like to be at long term.

I feel although I’ve had a bad couple of days and I might not now make a profit for the month (currently £269.38 red) I do feel that one day soon I will have a day where it all goes right and I absolutely smash it.

Number of Races 16

16 Traded, 1 loss, 15 wins. Biggest loss £74.34, biggest win £10.38

Daily Total: Minus – £3.79

21st Jan

Unbelievable. Another red day that’s three in a row. I got a bit unlucky I feel as the horse I layed was jumping poorly. So much so that I double clicked it and the second my bets were taken the odds-on favourite crashed to the ground like it had been shot by a sniper.

Obviously, the price crashed but it still didn’t look like a winner till it was way too late to make trading out worthwhile.

The chances of me making a profit for the month look very bleak. That hurts but I must just power through this as best I can and re-group for February.

Number of Races 10

10 Traded, 2 losses, 8 wins. Biggest loss £49.19, biggest win £10.01

Daily Total: Minus – £24.81

22nd Jan

After three bad days it was nice to be back in the winner’s enclosure. I felt very tired as I had to leave home early for a meeting. That made me reduce my stakes a bit and be extra cautious.

Number of Races 17

16 Traded, 2 losses, 14 wins. Biggest loss £7.20, biggest win £7.57

Daily Total: Plus £32.24

23rd Jan

Major frustration today. 2 errors one for £35 and one for £27 meant I traded all day for virtually nothing again. On a positive note, another day’s education that didn’t cost me anything, but I know I have to post my results and I wanted to show a profit for the month of January and that is very unlikely now. I need to win £30 + every day now to have a chance.

Number of Races 24

22 Traded, 2 losses, 20 wins. Biggest loss £35.42, biggest win £9.16

Daily Total: Plus £3.65

24th Jan

Got a bit mad with myself near the end of the day where I made a mess of a wining position to lose £14 on what was going to be my last race.

The anger meant I traded another 2 races. Normally I never trade any of the evening races, but it worked out well as I got back the loss and a bit extra.

Number of Races 23

22 Traded, 4 losses, 18 wins. Biggest loss £14.65, biggest win £14.01

Daily Total: Plus £41.89

25th Jan

I’ve been feeling for a while that I could win over £100 in a day and today I had well over £100 of winning trades. Sadly, I had a terrible disaster on one race and lost £165.90.

I plodded on and was getting quite a lot of the losses back but my desire to claw back the losses meant that when I was just over £6 green in the 16.15 pm race instead of taking the easy green I let it run a bit to get £10 out of it.

Somehow the horse rallied and ended up winning so I took a £42 loss. So over all in excess of £200 in reds for the day from just 2 badly traded races.

Number of Races 34

34 Traded, 5 losses, 29 wins. Biggest loss £165.90, biggest win £14.11

Daily Total: Minus – £102.81

26th Jan

How did this happen? I was heading towards a record day then I took two manageable reds (15.40 pm & 15.50 pm) where I traded out when the price of the horse I’d layed started to drop. Neither horse won as it turned out which is always a bit annoying.

Then I didn’t take the red on the 16.00 pm as the price dropped and of course it bolted up. That £80.94 loss meant what was looking like a record winning day was now in the red. If I’d stopped and thought about it I may well have saved myself but I didn’t and when the 16.10 pm started I shouldn’t have been trading.

I got what I deserved. I wasn’t thinking rationally, and I took a £27 losing day and turned it into a £177 loss. I layed a horse for double my usual maximum stake when I hadn’t seen any real signals that it was beaten to try and get the £27 back.

In all honesty I could see the trade was going bad and had plenty of time to bail on it, but I just didn’t care at that point.

It’s days like this when I start to think I should admit defeat. One thing is for sure I’ve decimated my bank over the last week to ten days, so I’ll be forced into lowering stakes tomorrow. It’s just so depressing.

I was expecting to make a profit this month but I’m currently just shy of £500 down and I haven’t lost that much since I was trading pre-race.

Number of Races 20

20 Traded, 6 losses, 14 wins. Biggest loss £150.00, biggest win £17.26

Daily Total: Minus – £177.77

27th Jan

Days like today make my losing days all the more annoying. I reduced my stakes took it very carefully and made £40 as easy as falling off a log.

Why isn’t it always like this.

Number of Races 12

12 Traded, 1 loss, 11 wins. Biggest loss £1.28, biggest win £7.80

Daily Total: Plus £41.89

28th Jan

I’d explain how I lost today if I knew how I managed it. One race where I layed the winner I watched the replay twice and I still wanted to lay it. So although that cost me £36 it can happen and I don’t feel bad about that particular loss. The rest of the losses I’m just not sure what I’m doing anymore?

I believe there is only one afternoon meeting tomorrow so I may take the day off and re-group.

I’m now over £500 down this month and it will be my worst months trading since I switched to In-Running.

I’m determined not to reload again so when I start trading again, I will have to drop my stakes right down as currently my bank is smaller than a midget’s dick.

Number of Races 15

15 Traded, 5 losses, 10 wins. Biggest loss £36.44, biggest win £8.82

Daily Total: Minus – £73.58

29th Jan

Took a day off. Felt great to be honest.

30th Jan

Easy day just 11 races traded and made nearly £30 would have made £40 if it wasn’t for a daft mistake.

I can seem to make £20 – £30 a day easily when I’m not trying. As soon as I up my stakes and start to push it a bit, that’s when things seem to go wrong.

Number of Races 11

11 Traded, 1 loss, 10 wins. Biggest loss £9.26, biggest win £7.00

Daily Total: Plus £29.46

31st Jan

Nice steady day, no drama, the sort of day I like.

Only traded 11 races it seemed worryingly easy.

Number of Races 11

11 Traded, 0 losses, 11 wins. Biggest loss N/A, biggest win £10.83

Daily Total: Plus £40.45

Monthly Total P/L

Summary

Although this has been a total disaster results wise there is a positive, I can take.

I’ve been beaten around the head repeatedly this month by my two biggest mistakes and finally the penny (all 45,920 of them) may have dropped.

Number 1, My Biggest Mistake: Laying anything at all with just 2 or 3 fences to jump. This is where my really big losses come from. All the horses are often under pressure at this stage and the determination of the horse/jockey can mean something that looks dead on its feet can still win.

I really don’t do this very often but every time I do they seem to sprout wings. If I hadn’t done this just 5 times this month then my 5 biggest losses, for a total of £948 could have been avoided and the whole month would have looked a lot different.

Number 2, Smaller Mistake: This often puts me £5 – £10 in the red which in turn can encourage me to make mistake number 1 above to compound the problem.

This is where I lay something too early. I often spot something that just gives me a hint that all is not well. Not a HUGE signal but a little something.

I then lay it and keep an eye on it. If I’m right, then that’s great because I’m on at a good price so less liability. Also when it really starts to go backwards I can quickly lay it again so I can make more money in a fairly safe situation.

When I do this “early lay” I’m right most but not all the time.

Sometimes for a variety of reasons the price gets backed down and I’m in the red. This is where I have a decision to make. I won’t bother going into my thought process about this but occasionally I lay a horse then take a red then lay it again and get a green. So I’m in and out like the Hokey Cokey.

I don’t know what made me remember this but years ago I saw 3-time Formula One World Champion, Jackie Stewart, giving James May a racing lesson around a track on Top Gear.

His advice about cornering was ““Don’t put your foot on the gas pedal until you’re sure that you’ll never have to take it off again.”

I think this may be good advice for me in the short term.

So for February if I spot a horse in a hint of trouble I’ll just watch it very carefully and not lay it. Only if it really starts to struggle will I put the lay bet in. (When I’m certain I won’t need to take it out again.)

I won’t get such good prices and I may miss the price when it zooms out really quickly so I’ll have more races where I don’t trade at all, but I can live with that if it stops the reds.

Easy fix

My 5 biggest losing trades for the month add up to about £948 so if I’d had my “stakes” set to a £100 liability instead of an actually stake that would have saved me £448 and my Betfair account would be looking a lot healthier.

Also when I had a winning trade I may have had quite a few races where I would actually have won more than I did.

So I’m switching to liability.

Mental Fix

I’ve decided that “I’m not going to try to win money” throughout Feb because when I don’t try, I easily make £20 – £30 a day. It’s only when I push it that I make mistakes and enter trades that I shouldn’t.

I want to concentrate on trading defensively, cutting my losses and being disciplined enough to not feel I must trade every race, every day.

When I wait to be certain I hardly ever get it wrong. My problems often arise when I try to be too clever and “lay” a bit early to try and get a good price.

Having a few breaks and a day off now and then will also be a good thing.

Man with a Plan

I don’t wish to state here what I want/expect to get from my trading in February but suffice to say if I don’t make a profit in February I’ll be really hacked off.

I’ve suffered a massive set back this month (Jan) but I still passionately believe that I’m closer than ever to turning the corner.

Spoken in a Geordie accent:

Positive mental attitude or deluded idiot; you decide.

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