So there it goes, another year slips into the past. I hope you have a good evening whatever you choose to do on new years eve. I’ll talk about 2018 as we cross into that year. I have a few plans for next year.
First off, my many thanks go to all the people, including our customers, that have supported us over the year. Because of the unique way our team is made up, we throw as much money back into Bet Angel as possible. We upgraded Bet Angel a lot last year and we are always looking to use our experience and that of our customers to work out how we can take Bet Angel up a level. We will do more of this in 2018.
You can see all new releases made to Bet Angel during the year, here: –
I ended the year slightly up on last year, which was a surprise. Last year I chose to thin out some of the markets using, loosely, the Pareto principle. I wanted to start the transition of handing over the smaller stuff to my children. Therefore I shifted my focus to the bigger meetings. That’s a bit risky, as if I mess up a big meeting it’s likely to have more impact. It didn’t matter though as I did pretty well in 2017 on the big meetings, so that more than offset any days I passed over.
The year started well at Cheltenham and I used that to build into Aintree and the increased focus paid off big time at Ascot where I had my best week for a few years. I ended the year with a really good Christmas festival week, so I’m really happy with my efforts over all. I entered December ahead of the prior full year so was full of confidence.
You should be encouraged that I’m still going strong and that means there is still a lot of opportunities out there.
I’m a firm disciple of Kaizen. So 2017 was another year where I took more steps forward to better understand the market. After 17 years can you really learn anything more? Yes, you can. My Kaizen is often a process of better understanding the market, the way it trades, how markets are priced and how you trade them. But also a case of seeking perfection, perfection that I can never reach. But each year I discover completely new things that I never really spotted before or couldn’t explain. That happened again this year and I look forward to taking those ideas and strategies forward to 2018.
My drive is always to be the best I possible can. So last year and next, my motivation remains unchanged. I love the challenge of solving complex problems. Rather than putting up an incomprehensible thesis on why I was right, and while I’d love some academic approval. IMHO there is no better way of proving that than putting your money where your mouth is. That is my thesis.
Some things never change
I’m really pleased with my efforts in 2017, but there will always be plenty of people that are not. Last year was no different on that front. Sceptics are never ending, but I’ve figured out a few things about this – I’ve often commented on them before: –
It’s human nature, it will never end and it teaches you a lot about how a market works and how people think. Inadvertently, it’s helped me reach another level and it can for you too. At the end of the day knowing who is on the other side of a trade is just as important as your position. To trade effectively, facts need to beat emotions, but often emotions beat facts. There is the lesson.
I’m always surprised at how sceptical people continue to be about trading or betting with an edge. The exchange markets have provided an amazing opportunity to just that. I realise it’s not immediately obvious or guaranteed by any measure, but surely that’s even more reason to solve the puzzle?
Since I worked out some of the key aspects, I’ve been pushing the boundaries of what is possible, from all aspects. That’s what I really enjoy now, touching the edges of what can be achieved. Last year I traded all 52 weeks and profited on all 52. Impossible? Yes, if you say so, again.
When, if, I stop doing this. I’ll published a complete history of all the things I did and things that happened during my tenure. Some people will be kicking themselves at it’s contents. Until then, people who share common goals will find me and I will reciprocate their common enthusiasm. I can’t express enough how much I love my job!
The markets in 2017
Cricket aside it seems most markets were flat or in decline Betfair this year from a liquidity and turnover perspective. Challengers keep challenging but still have some way to go. While volumes are often eye catching they need to make sure it’s the actual fill rate that they focus on. Without that everything else is pointless, turnover is vanity as they say. I had another good year on Betdaq and I’m now very consistent there and expect 2018 to be a record breaker for me.
One highlight for me this year was returning to Greyhound racing after an absence of seven years. I’d previously dropped it as unviable due to the various restrictions that were in place. But with Bet Angel able to stream prices and improvements in automation, multi market handling and other areas, I thought it was worth returning. It’s been a big success which I hope to build on it 2018. On the flip side, underlying liquidity on Australian racing hasn’t improved since its move to the UK in late 2017. I suspect I know what’s going on there. But you always learn that as one door closes another always opens. You could view in the other way, but you know that’s not me!
And with that, the door opens to 2018!