My Sports trading journey – Part five

03/01/2014 | By | Reply More

A new year seems a good place to try and round off my story of how I got trading and my journey through the markets.

Click on the links to catch up with parts one, two, three and four

The jump

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, but had now 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.

But…………….. a real soul searching period then set in. When people asked me what I was going to do in my new ‘job’, I tried to explain this neat thing I had been doing on betting exchanges. But as soon as the word ‘BET’ came up, everybody thought I had gone bonkers. 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? But, in fact I had, and it was the making of me. It gave me the courage to try new things, to not be too worried about taking well thought out risks. It also taught me to be self-dependent and not to fear trying things just because people were trying to put me off. It was a real eye opener and led me onto many more new paths. But I have to admit, it was frustrating.

Another epiphany

When I started afresh, at first, I wasn’t completely sure that I done the right thing. I wasn’t sure if the anything I was going to do was viable or not. Like everybody starting out afresh, I had to find my feet. But the harder I tried and the more effort I put in, the results start to come. 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 and has shaped the way I think about risk. 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!

I learnt that a lot of people spend too much time trying to avoid the bad by looking for it, they often find it. It was an important step for me, as it radically changed my view on risk and trading in general.

Early markets

Being into the market so early on, the first 18 months were hard; for starters there wasn’t as much liquidity as there is now. But you learn to adapt as the market shifts around you. But the longer I went on, the more I was convinced that I had done the right thing. What was particularly hard for me back then was that there was nobody to learn from and no structure to what I was doing. I had to learn and create on the fly.

This taught me some great lessons in how to construct strategies. I spent a lot of 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. I learnt that a lot of positions mature into profit even if you don’t get the entry point right. So while entry points are important, managing your exposure to losses turned out to be a key tactic. Being in early has taught me how to approach formative markets and also how they are likely to mature. It’s been an important to understand so that I can stay one step ahead of the curve.

When I started to get a full understanding of everything I was doing, I just started to push the boundaries. I started increasing stakes and the depth and breadth of what i was doing. Things were really starting to look up.

Still more to follow…

Including the birth of Bet Angel and my discovery of horse racing. Hopefully I get the next part out a bit quicker than the previous ones!

What Betfair looked like circa 2003

What Betfair looked like circa 2003


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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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