My Sports Trading Journey – Part one

09/01/2013 | By | 1 Reply More

Some of you already know my story, but here is it for those that don’t know and for those who are looking for some inspiration at the start of the new year!

The start

To understand where I am today, you need to wind the clock back to my childhood and the spark that created everything.

When I was young I loved playing sport. That was about all I enjoyed really and didn’t particularly excel academically. As a result I just bumbled through school. One day I visited a friend; his Dad has just bought a Commodore Pet. My friend showed me how to get it to put my name up on the screen and from that simple start I started to dabble in home computers. I coaxed my Dad into buying a ZX81 and I started to mess around with it.

My Dad often handed me his football pools coupon, so the first thing I really tried to do was to code something to analyse football matches. The idea was to try and understand what created a draw. I looked at many different things, but by collecting and analysing football results I slowly realised what ‘created’ a draw.

Everybody thought I was away with the fairies. But in spite of that, I set about optimising my football pools entry to try and get some dividends. Slowly but surely, the dividends started to come in. This eventually culminated in the ultimate reward, a first dividend on Littlewoods pools. I still have the entry coupon and it sits in a frame on the wall of my office.

All this activity on the football pools sparked my interest in Gambling markets and I started to research how they worked and if there was a way to profit from them, with predictable results.

Gambling markets

I learnt on the football pools that a lot of the money staked had no rationale behind it. People just used birthdays, lucky numbers etc. etc. With so much ‘dumb’ money around, I thought that in the long term I may be able to perform better than chance, which is exactly what happened.

My start on gambling markets proper was to look at how bookmakers made the markets, what drove those prices and where inefficiencies could exist. I knew nothing about horse racing so avoided those markets and focused on football instead. Borrowing a trick from the football pools, I started doing some very complicated bets to cover off unlikely scenarios and maximise more certain ones. Despite being useless at maths when I was at school, my attempts on the football pools forced me to get my finger out and start working with probabilities and combinations. Basically I was trying to optimise entries by ordering bets in a certain manner and by using very efficient covering combinations.

I managed to bag some really nice wins from the bookies, but it wasn’t long before I realised that with such huge over rounds the whole game was completely unfair unless you had some sort of special knowledge to overcome the bookmakers margin. So I turned to the biggest casino of the lot, the stock market….

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Category: General, Using Bet Angel

About the Author ()

I left a good job in the consumer technology industry to go a trade on Betfair for a living way back in June 2000. I've been here ever since pushing very boundaries of what's possible on betting exchanges and loved every minute of it.

Comments (1)

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  1. toughstart says:

    This, and a few other blogs around the web, are exactly what I need to get me up and running in 2013. Looking forward to the next installment.

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