My Betfair birthday

22/06/2013 | By | 1 Reply More

I celebrated my ‘Betfair Birthday’ this week, I am now a Betfair teenager! It’s been just over thirteen years since I opened my account and started betting.

What better way to ‘celebrate’ than to look back at the moment I took the big jump? If you would have told me that thirteen years ago what I do now, I just wouldn’t have believed it remotely possible. Therefore, I suggest you always use the word impossible with the greatness of caution.

My sports trading journey – Part five

Click here to catch up on parts 1,2,3 & 4

Hedging my bets

So I had taken the great leap into the unknown. For years I’d worked diligently up the corporate ladder and could have stayed in a senior position with really nice salary, but stepped off. At the back of my mind was the thought that if I didn’t do it now, I probably never would. So even with a young family in hand, I took the jump. I’d always felt I’d wanted to have a go a something, but I didn’t know what. But in fact it wasn’t the opportunity, but it was the timing that was right. I was always told you will know when it’s the right time and it felt like the right time.

At first I wasn’t completely sure that I done the right thing, I wasn’t sure if anything to do with Betfair stuff was viable or not, after-all I had nobody to follow in the footsteps of, it was completely virgin territory. But that actually, was half the appeal. I’d seen so many opportunities come and go in the past, I wasn’t going to miss another. It’s one thing to see an opopportunity but completely another to act on it. To hedge my bets I had some other irons in the fire to buy myself some time.

I was put on Gardening leave for competitive reasons and this gave me plenty of time to think about things. After playing golf for a week and generally enjoying myself, I hopped on a plane to the US to fulfil some things I’d planned to do for some time. It was on this trip that a few things started to slide into place. Released of the shackles of a normal job I realised that opportunity was around every corner. While trying to catch a cab to an event I was about to attend, I went for the same cab as three other people, we agreed to share. Since then we have all gone on to become the best of friends and shared many fantastic experiences together. Sometimes things are just meant to happen.

Across all things I was doing, as the months wore on, I realised that for every dead end I discovered there were an equal number of clear paths. This was another epiphany for me! It took until this happened for me to realise that if you look for opportunities, you tend find then. At the end of the day good and bad luck are created in equal proportion; you just need to keep your eyes open for the good stuff; there isn’t much you can do about the bad! People seem to spend too much time trying to avoid the bad by actually looking for it, it’s a grave error. It was an important step for me, as it radically changed my view on risk, trading and my general outlook on things.

Early days

Being into the market so early on, the first 18 months were really hard. What was particularly hard was that there was nobody to learn from; you had to make it all up as you went along. But I would spend time after each session trying to understand what I did right and what I did wrong and I systemically worked hard to cut out as many errors as I could. When I started to get a full understanding of everything I was doing, I just started to push the boundaries. I did this by increasing my stakes and the depth and breadth of what i was doing. As I started doing this I realised that I could push things a bit higher. Things were really starting to look up.

The doomsayers

But…………….. I had to put up with significant amounts of scepticism. In fact, despite everything I’ve done, I still do! Friends and family were very keen to tell me why I shouldn’t do it. To kick start things I actually offered several people really quite generous terms, but nobody took me up on the offer. Before long I realised it would have been a terrible mistake to do so. In hindsight a giant stroke of luck.

But looking back you can sort of understand why people would be sceptical. How many people had claimed to find the ‘ultimate’ way to win by gambling only to learn it’s a farce in the end? But actually, it’s been the making of me. It has given me the courage to try new things, to not be worried about taking risks and it also taught me to be completely self dependent and not to fear trying things just because of what people say. I also realise that no matter what you achieve some people just don’t want to listen. It used to rile me, but it doesn’t anymore. I learnt to not waste my breath on people who don’t want to listen, but I will happily spend lots of time with those that are.

First steps

My first ever bets were placed on Golf and Financials. Both those are a minor contributor nowadays to my annual totals. But I quickly moved to Football and started examining others sports. One thing really caught my eye and that was the volume on horse racing, it was massive. So I knew I really had to crack that to really get motoring… I cover this and other things in the next part of the story of my journey….

Thoughts after thirteen years

I think the most poignant key moment for me as time progressed, was realising that I’d never have to return to a normal job ever again. I’m humbled by the fact that not many people can actively make that decision whatever career path they choose. This was something I dreamed of when I was young, so it was amazing to achieve it. When I look back at what I had to do to achieve that, I realise it was actually an awful lot; especially at that stage in my life. But I have learned over time if you think positively and are willing to take risks there are actually a lot of things out there that you will find, even if you were not looking for them. A positive outlook, but also persistance and perseverance have also kept me going all this time and have allowed me to overcome all obstacles chucked at me along the way.

I hope this story gives you some inspiration, whether its in these markets or not. My journey has taught me a lot.

000618 - Joined 18th June 2000

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Category: General, Trading strategies

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.

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  1. hampi26 says:

    I rely like this article which you have so kindly took time to write for all potential traders. It really is inspirational, and I admire you very much. Thanks, and I wish many more successful years.

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