A month in the life of

17/07/2013 | By | 2 Replies More

Following on from the popular a day and a week in the life of, I thought I’d give you some perspective on what a month looks like. I wanted to focus on the structure rather than the results, which I am sure you can extrapolate from information I have previously provided.

Biggest month of the year

June presented lots of Tennis and, of course, Royal Ascot, so June is traditionally one of my biggest months of the year. The first thing to note is that I do more than just racing and more than just trading. Over the month I was mainly focused on Racing, Tennis and Golf.

More than just racing

The reason you tend to see Racing appear a lot on the blog is that there is so much of it. At this time of year perhaps 40 or 50 races a day. When I first started on Betfair I focused on financials and football as this was my specialty. But my jaw dropped when I saw how much was being staked on racing. Currently there is around £10bn a year staked pre-off on the Racing. I figured any small +ve amount on billions was going to be worth the effort, so I went for it.

Pre-off stuff is risk-less from the perspective of there being no underlying risk on the actual result of the event itself. So those characteristics and that sort of volume make it very appealing. During the UK football season I’ll spend a lot of time on the football. Once you learn to trade one market pre-off, it’s one strategy you can transplant to other markets with a little modification. During the Summer racing I tend to be quite quiet at the start of the week and build from Wednesday onward, unless there is a big meeting on. I can work extremely long hours so the weak cards on a Monday and Tuesday afternoon can present an opportunity for a break.


One area I don’t speak that much about, but have hinted at on the blog, is value bets. I still place value bets a lot, but since the PC came in on Betfair not that much is done here. But I have noticed that the ‘weird’ characteristics you see on Betfair more recently are helping me here as well, so I have been back exploring that arena. I can win or lose up to £1m a month on value bets. While that seems a lot, to put it into perspective, with any market your edge is often very slim. So you need to ‘go large’ to make it worthwhile.

Best and worst

Back on trading front, I had one losing day in June for the grand sum of £3. I could easily have laid something at large odds to eradicate that loss, but was very disciplined and declined. You know what is bound to happen when you lay something at 300’s with any sort of money! My strike rate for June was only 70% which I think it’s pretty poor TBH, right at the bottom end of expectations. My worst loss was £174 and my best win £4823 so at least that ratio held up, I’ve already had a better result in July. My average result is obviously nowhere neither those two extremes and the most frequent is actually near zero. That’s because my basic strategy is to expose myself to potential upside at the lowest possible risk, simple but not so easy. So that necessary leads to lots of small positives or negatives, mainly positives, and along the way you pick up some really crunchy results. I don’t have an exact count of events I placed a bet on, but it was probably somewhere in early four figures.

There in lies part of the trick to doing this seriously, lots of markets where you are not afraid to take a risk. If you know you have an edge then you don’t fear racking up the numbers, either in terms of the number of markets you do or the amount you use. Results can go for or against you and you can’t exactly predict that, but you can predict that if you do it often enough and efficiently enough there is very likely to be a pay off at the end. This June went pretty much to plan as it has done for a number of years before. No records, but nothing bad either, just fairly normal.

And that is more or less what a month looks like.


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.

Comments (2)

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  1. THENUTS says:

    Really interesting – thanks Peter. Lots of very useful information .

  2. UPANDOWN says:


    This is really good background stuff for me and something to aspire to.
    First thought was that you need BIG funds to mirror your actions, but can now see that smaller bank size and thus smaller stakes can still be effective.

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