Wednesday, 9 April 2008

Life in Bots-ville

Wow! I've not posted for a while. I've also not done much trading, in fact, the last trades I did were in February for the grand gain of about £6! I havn't been completely quiet though, I've been playing around with some laying systems, for a bit of a change. I'll write up the results in a forthcoming post. I know, I'm normally all about the trading, but as I've not felt like trading, why not explore other options?


Anyway, the main thrust of this post is about the world of Betfair bots, or rather, what recent events have happened to affect them. First up are the new changes that Betfair are making if you want to use data from their site or API. They've decided to apply extra data charges if you make more than 20 calls a second to their API or web site. Now, that doesn't sound too bad, but if you are trying to access multiple markets at once then it can happen.

I usually use the free API and only track one market at a time, so I'm okay, but its something to bear in mind when you're planning what you want to do at the start.

And finally... We see the death of a site/forum that has been a centre piece to bot builders for quite a while now. That site is http://www.fred77.co.uk/. It's gone! If you want a new forum, then I've set one up. Whether it'll take off, will depend if people use it. If it doesn't get used I might take it down again, but if you want a look, its at: http://thebreakthroughpartnership.com/simplemachinesforum/index.php


And finally, finally, if you are interested in building your own Betfair bot, please have a look at my eBook on the subject (hey, nothing like a self plug!). Go to: http://www.thebreakthroughpartnership.com/tradingbot/tradingbot.html

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Off topic: The big C and films

Rather than post here about my fight against the big C, I have set up a separate blog, so if you want to see how I'm doing, pop over to http://mrbaldylymphoma.blogspot.com/

Okay, so I'm not Mr. Baldy yet, but its in the mail. I've got hair for a couple more weeks before I become a chrome dome, slap head, skin head. At least I don't have to keep getting hassled by the wife to get a hair cut for a while. It should all grow back post treatment though, so looks like Mr Baldy is only in town for a few months (fingers crossed).


Anyway, that's all I'm going to write about illness and all that crap here. This blog is for betting and trading, so back to the point.


Oh well, as I'm here and being off-topic, I'm also interested in film making and I get together with a film making buddy quite often. One evening a few weeks ago we spent 3 hours filming, editing and knocking up a silly short film, if you fancy a look, here it is:


video

Thursday, 7 February 2008

2008 - the year I got cancer

I was hoping this post was going to be called "my cancer scare" and be about how I thought I had cancer but it was a false alarm. Sadly not the case.
I've not posted for a fair while but quite a lot has been happening. Basically, since just before Christmas I have been feeling run down. I got a cold and then noticed that after it had gone two of the lymph nodes (egg shaped glands) in the neck were still enlarged. I gave them a feel and they were really hard and stuck in place. Foolishly, I consulted the internet and freaked myself out. After I had calmed down I went to see my doctor who said it was most likely just due to the infection but we'd keep an eye on it and if it was not better in two weeks then come back. I then developed a cough, like no other cough I'd ever had. Within a couple of days it was like I had my ribs kicked in. A tad painful. I went back to the doctor (a different one, as my normal one was away) about the cough, as it didn't seem right somehow and I was told it was just viral and the lymph nodes were fine. Thankfully, I already had another open appointment, for some blood test results, with my other doctor and when I went in he referred me to an ENT (ear, nose and throat) specialist.
I went in to see him and he was quite a likeable chap and he did a number of tests, including xrays, ultrasound and finally got a tissue sample extracted from a couple of the nodes. That bit wasn't fun. Imagine lying on a table whilst someone sticks a needle in your neck and wiggles it around (without any anaestetic), not fun. I was told that given my symptoms, they suspected that I had Lymphoma, which is a form of cancer of the lymph system, but they couldn't confirm it until the results came in.
The results came in and they had found nothing bad in the neck lymph tissue, but apparently that isn't unusual with Lymphoma, which can be difficult to diagnose from small tissue samples. Great. They did say it ruled out several other nastier possibilities, which was good anyway.
The chest xray showed other lymph nodes in my chest swollen up, which accounted for my non-stop, annoying, painful cough.
The next thing to look forward to then was a biopsy, which is where they planned to cut a hole in my neck and pull out a few lymph nodes, which they can then cut up and analyse under the microscope. This would tell them for definite what type of Lymphoma it was (as there are several different variants, that all need treating differently). I also got given a CT scan, which is where they xray slices of your body, so they can look through it in detail. So, what's next? Well, now I'm waiting for the results of the biopsy, to tell me which variant I've got and the CT scan results to tell me how far it has invaded. On the plus sides, Lymphoma is meant to be very treatable, although it is still treated with radiation and chemotheraphy, which doesn't excite me overly, although once it starts, I intend to give it my all. The other plus side is that I may get some more time available at home in the day where I can get some trading in (we'll see). So there are some silver linings.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Happy New Year!

Wow, its been nearly a month since I last posted. Shame on me! Not much of a post here either, just logging in quickly, to wish a belated happy Xmas and happy new year to all. Hopefully your head feels better than mine does right now!

Monday, 3 December 2007

Anti-martingale

In my last post I mention "Martingale" staking systems (dodgy, dodgy, dodgy!), well I found the definition for an anti-martingale staking system in wikipedia:

"One activity where money management based on an anti-martingale approach has a recognized value [1] is speculation and trading. Many financial markets have some cyclical component to them, and the approach of an individual speculator or trader may only be appropriate for one portion of that cycle. Using an anti-martingale risk management scheme will increase profits during time periods when a trading approach is working well, while automatically decreasing exposure during portions of the cycle where trading is unprofitable. This is believed to decrease the risk of ruin for trading"


Van. K. Tharp, the financial trading guru, talks about anti-martingale systems in his investing rules. Have a look here: Van K. Tharps rules

Scam!

I hate scammers! This post is going to be a bit off topic (although I'll try and pull it back on-topic later on). Well, its on topic-ish, as I'm going to mention systems, ebooks and gambling. The gambling in question is related to on-line casinos. What am I on about? Well, I came across a forum post promising a wealth build system that wasn't the usual list. My thought, if something promises to be too good to be true is that it is too good to be true. I was intrigued though. I followed the link, expecting to see an advert for an ebook that made lots of big promises, showed little and demanded a big price. Instead I found the usual big promises but this time the ebook was offered for free in exchange for testimonials "when you start making big money too". Hmmm, that pulled me in somewhat. Suddenly there seemed no risk. Ok, I thought, what is this system that promised money without setting up a web site, a business, adwords or similar? I read the ebook and the first half was all about trying to get you to think you had found a gold mine and to think about how you're going to spend the money! The second half contained the system. I read it through. It started by saying that it involved on-line casinos. "What a waste of time", I thought and was ready to close the ebook, delete it and forget it, but then the next lines held my interest when they started talking about a loop hole in computer based gambling systems that can be exploited. I read on. It stated that a system had been found that would not work on real roulette but was ideal for on-line roulette due to the problem with computer generated random numbers. This almost had me. I know about computers and I know that a desktop computer can't create true random numbers. A computer has to use a formula that gives what look like random numbers, called pseudo random numbers. The system revolved around the fact that pseudo random numbers can be relied upon to be distributed evenly across the range of numbers. So, the idea came in two parts: 1) When to bet and on what and 2) A staking system. This made sense and I started to wonder if it could actually be legit, I mean, if this is being offered "pre-release" in order to get testimonials, that kind of made sense and it is always good to get something for free when it normally has a price tag attached (which the ebook claimed to have) and the system seemed plausible. Well, almost plausible. I did some more research. I wrote a roulette wheel sim and tested the system on it, it worked. With the random numbers my computer generated, the system worked. I was a step away from giving it a try. The system said to use a specific online casino and provided a link to it and set up instructions. I checked out the casino, to see if it was legit and it was. Whilst doing that I noticed that the casino said that it used a RNG (Random Number Generator). This was the problem. A RNG is a special piece of kit that can be used to generate real random numbers for use by computers, e.g. it doesn't rely on computer formulae to get numbers, it samples white noise levels or other random external events and feeds that back to the computer. So, the system would not work, so I wondered why the free ebook was there and then I thought about the link to set up an account at the casino (the ebook said that at least £50 should be deposited, in order for it to work!). The link was an affiliate link, the ebook author gets a percentage of any money that anyone they sign up loses! Very sneaky, especially when you look at the staking system. It was a slightly disguised martingale system!

So, how can I make this post relevant? (even if it hopefully will help save some people money signing up to this scam) Well, I think, before engaging money, other than a trivial amount, into any system or idea, you need to do the research yourself and not just trust the sales pitch, no matter how great the promises.

Sunday, 25 November 2007

Don't Fall In Love!

No, I havn't gone soppy. Don't fall in love with your trades. Last night I let a loss run and it wasn't until afterwards when I was kicking myself for it that I worked out why. I had "fell in love" with the price. It took me ages to get the lay side filled. The price kept moving and I nearly had it and then when I finally had the lay matched, the price moved up a tick and I was looking for another tick when it turned back. It bounced up and down a few times and I sat staring. Finally, the price went down to the price I had managed to lay. If I was sticking to plan, I would have scratched out, but I let it run and down it went. Stupid really and I knew it, but when I thought back at how long it had taken to get the lay filled, I was kind of reluctant to end the trade for nothing and 'hoping' for a price rise. Classic newbie behaviour and something I thought I was well over and normally would be. So, that's that. Back to the mind set of getting out quickly if it looks like the vicious flaky bitch, that is the price, turns on me!