Firedave trading Betfair with Bet Angel

Documenting my experiences with Bet Angel using BetFair. This will be used to record my progress as I take trading on full time.

Bet Angel - The most effective tool for Betfair

Some good trading today, trading with 10p and 20p tick sizes. No great shakes but different to the £2 standard stakes since the tick size approach meant that there were some occasional £10 stakes. It is a mental hurdle to get over the fact you are trading with more money but my experience with poker helped me overcome that fairly quickly. In trading stake size is calculated from the tick size and is what I need to train my brain to think in to become a good trader so today has been a good start to that thought process.

Bangor was not a good racecourse for me and I may need to do some analysis as to why this was. In one race the risk meter looked good so I was happily making tick marks. The market drifted about 20 ticks on the horse I was trading on and ended up losing a £1 on one race. It was the craziest drift I've seen so far; I looked back at the risk meter which was displaying 100. Yay!

Today's p&l: £1.55

Today's trading had a lot of eeked out profits on a lot of races, marred by some big losses. I found that I wasn't cutting the losses quick enough, especially round price breaks. I've learnt that a great place to do trading is around these values since

one tick made - two ticks lost = 0

This gives me great value and is where other traders will put defences up either to push the price up or down, but when it goes against I'm not taking my losses quickly enough which then becomes more of a gamble. Gambling is not trading and this is what needs to be taken out of my game to reduce the amount I lose and ultimately make more.

In my thoughts today, I have been thinking, "who places bets on betfair?". My answer is degenerate gamblers, bettors for value, other traders and bookies laying off risk from their own books. At different times relative to the race these players will be putting money in. The first two are highly prominent 10 minutes before the race before the tidal wave from traders and then bookies starting at about 5 minutes before the race. This should be an important observation into creating srategies based on time before race since the techniques used by all but traders will be rudimentry and easily beatable.

Although I made more today than yesterday I am less pleased with my decision making. Back to solid decisions in every race tomorrow.

Today's p&l £1.20

One of the most overlooked areas of trading is gauging progress. For instance, what notes do you take? How do you record when you do something great, or something stupid? How can you take this forward so that you learn from all the time spent in front of races? Is it possible to reduce the number of races you have to sit through by keeping better notes and making sure that every market is helping your progression.

These are just some thoughts you might want to address. If you attend the training provided by Peter or one of the mentors they will help with what sort of things you should record. After the markets are complete your profit and loss is recorded by betfair. Analysing this data can help you calculate your strike rate and from this the maximum number of markets you can experience a loss in a row. Do not underestimate this, it is directly related to my confidence post. If you know that 6 markets in a row will result in a loss you can stay confident that things will turn round. To get this analysis Nigel has written a fantastic spreadsheet - more details of how to use it are at the forum and this is also where you can download it. Forum post You will need to have a login for the forum or sign up for one. This is highly advisable as there are really good tidbits on there for the beginner and pro a like.

Today I was looking to be more aggressive in scalping and ease off on the swinging markets by being less greedy which was landing me in trouble yesterday.

The day started off with several markets that I had identified as scalpable so I came in blazing but there wasn't quite the stability I was hoping on them and would have mini swings which meant I lost money. The first four races I traded I lost money on for one or two reasons; I was unlucky that I wasn't getting both sides of the scalps filled or my judgement was off. I had just come in from a run and raced round the house to get ready for the days racing and it may have shown in the trading. I shall set my day up a little better so that I can chill out for at least half an hour before settling down to trade.

The interesting race of the day was the 4 o'clok at Goodwood. I was trading on the top 3 and built up a nice amount from some aggressive scalping. When the horses were heading into the stalls the second favourite Highland Glen began to play up and I immediately lay it. The more it played up the happier I was getting. I was deciding how greedy to be so my plan was once it gets into the stalls I back. That horse did not start and not only did I not get the vast amount from the horse playing up, I didn't get the traded money before the horse played up either, which sucked.

All of the other races I traded well and the swing races I traded well by thinking further about the best time to attempt a trade which generally worked. Tomorrow I will try to do more of the same and get a little bit better at all the things I have learnt so far.

Today's p&l £0.98 (All stakes used were £2)

I’m a big fan of Adam Heathcote, he has taken Peter Webb’s techniques with the betfair market and run with them. Of late Adam has mentioned a lot about being in the right frame of mind and particularly being confident. Is this what it boils down to, confidence? To me when I first read his post I thought it couldn’t be, you need to understand how the money is moving in and out of the market, you need to know when it moves, by how much and is this really happening! After time though, you pick these subtleties up and you then have to act upon them. It really is up to you to execute the techniques. The state of mind you’re in will then directly impact how much you take from/give to the markets. If you think you see something, ACT. You can always close out, even at a loss – the point is that you will have given it a shot and will add to your ever increasing pool of knowledge. What you will start to notice is that you’re right a lot more often than you originally thought. So remember, be confident and assertive. If you feel you’re not in the right frame of mind, take a break and come back refreshed and ready to be, (yes you got it), confident!

My brother has come up to stay with me and learn about the wonders of Bet Angel. Since it is the start of Goodwood there should be some good races for him to learn how to scalp and there will always be races to swing. As part of learning he will be writing the bulk of each blog everyday for the next week; here is day 1.

I have watched a few races before today but I am still very green since I know little about the trading techniques required to be successful so I started the day by reading as much as I could about Bet Angel. Then I wrote out a list of all the day's races including grade, no of runners and the two favourites odds so that I could make a judgement on style.

The scalps mostly consisted of the Goodwood races and the 1635 went well. The stability of the market meant that I could go in and out at regular intervals, and get my orders filled. However the 1745 Goodwood seemed to be volatile. This was not shown on tv and was mixed in with evening races that were shown on "at the races" which may have been a reason for this despite its decent grade.

The races at Beverley were much harder. One of the races I had expected to try and read swings but on closer inspection, the two favourites were almost identical and should definately have been scalped. This was my biggest loss of the day, and is approximately the amount I am down for the day.

My aims for tomorrow are to be more aggressive with my scalpable races to try and get a few more turns in and try to be a little more savvy with the swing races by reducing the amount I expect to win and either do nothing or use a different technique.

Day 1 p&l: -£0.75