Wednesday, 20 June 2007

My wedding and honeymoon

Well, I'll be getting married on saturday and then on my honeymoon, so I may not get many chances to post until I get back.

So just taking this opportunity to wish you all the best with your trading.

While I'm away I'm going to have plenty of time to do some reading (11 hour flights!) and will write up any learnings that are relevant on my return.

(BTW, the picture on the left is not of my wedding cake, in case you wondered)

Tuesday, 19 June 2007

Ages of the horse racing market?

Okay, call me mad if you want, but I've been caught out by the market changing direction and suddenly doing unexpected things a number of times. The weird thing is (unless I'm imagining it, which is possible), the change in "behaviour" always seem to happen around the same points.

I have been starting to think of these points in time as being similar to ages. So, what am I talking about? Well, I'm referring to backing and laying the favourite in horse racing markets.

Initially, more than 10 minutes before the off, the market is sedentary or not moving, almost like it hasn't been born yet (unborn).
At around 10 minutes to the off, the activity begins. Usually it is quite predictable, i.e. it will trend in a definite direction. It may change direction but it usually does this more gently and can be tracked. This is what I call the child age.
At around 5 minutes to the off, adolescence begins. The market may turn suddenly and unexpectedly. Big sums of money may suddenly appear and throw things into disarray.
This may calm down as the market settles (adulthood).
Around 1 minute to go, the market again can get a little random and belligerent up to the off.

Let me know what you think. Am I losing it or can you see what I mean?

Monday, 18 June 2007

Umming and arring

I keep getting my fingers burnt by getting into trades too late, just when the market is about to turn. I see an opportunity, where it looks like there is a trend up or down. I watch it until I think it is a definite trend and then enter a trade but I leave it too long before I get in. Perhaps I need to just get in quick and be ready to get out again if I am wrong, rather than hang around umming and arring. I'll give that a try. It will mean lots of in/out scratch (hopefully) trades buy will also mean that I should get in on the movement.

Useful website

Just found another site that has some good info about Betfair, bet trading, etc. It is mainly of use to someone starting out and I reckon is mainly there to entice you to buy stuff, but information is information, so it may be worth a look.

Click here to have a look (BTW, I have no involvement, relationship or anything with this site, just thought it had some useful stuff on it)

Sunday, 17 June 2007

The way of the turtle

No trading this weekend, appart from a quick go with £2 stakes (came out 10p up, wow!). My wedding is in less than a week, on 23rd June. We've still got a fair bit to sort out, so not sure if I'll get much chance to post or trade this week. Please feel free to drop me a comment about yourself or any trading thoughts you have.
One thing though, I'm about two thirds of the way through the Trading Wizards book and I remember reading about a group of traders that went under the name of the Turtle group. Basically, two top traders had a bit of a wager about whether trading success is a natural ability or can be taught. They put an advert in the paper and interviewed a number of people, selecting ones that they thought would fit in best with their trading style and system. This group were then taught and mentored and given a chunk of cash to trade with. The group as a whole got amazing returns. All of them signed confidentiality agreements and never spoke about the system, until now. I just found a book called "The Way of the Turtle", written by one of the original group, spilling the beans on what they were taught. I've only skimmed it so far but it looks good. I'll post up a review when I've read it and any pointers I find as I go along.

Friday, 15 June 2007

Friday trading - I need a boot in the behind!

I keep doing it. I go through a few events and green up and am in profit, then I make a bad call and the market turns against me and I let my loss run on the chance that it'll turn back again. It never does. I then have to choose whether to take a definite loss or risk letting it run. Yesterday I got myself into this position and let it run and got lucky, today I foolishly did the same and didn't. I need a good kick in the behind! Never again. I promise!

Some bet exchange blogs

During my scouring of the internet to find relevant and useful bet trading info I came across a couple of blogs that I thought I should share. They are:

Mark is a horse backer turned trader. His philosophy is pretty cool and he has some good posts.

This is the guy who is trying to pay for his wedding using Betfair profits. He is doing pretty damned well too. Go and have a look.

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Thursday trading - still being silly but getting lucky

I got to do some Bet Fair trading today. I also got to make a couple of stupid mistakes, but get lucky.

Overall, I managed to get more used to Bet IE and the features it offers. I have found a way to work that I like right now. I have Bet Fair Direct open on my left hand screen, Bet IE on the right and a graph from Bet Fair on the left too. I use the graph to give me an indication of the overall trend and then use the weight of money momentum indication in Bet IE to help predict where it is going to swing but being aware of the overall general trend. It seemed to work pretty well and I managed to green up a few times, although I wasn't walking away with a fortune (a couple of quid or so).

On to my mistake. The count down timer to the event start time in Bet IE had run down to 0 but bets were still being taken. I continued watching the market and forgot that trading could close any second. I put on a back order using the auto offset feature of Bet IE. One of the trades got matched but the price had moved and the other was unmatched. I stared at it for a couple of seconds and looked at the current price and before I could do anything the betting was suspended. I was stuck with a lone back bet for £15. Not a lot you may say, but with a bank of les than £100, it was a fair proportion. Now, I got lucky, the horse won and my back is back up to £75, but it could have just as easily left me around £30. I'm not here to gamble, but I ended up doing just that.

Soros wisdom

George Soros, who is a well known, wealthy and highly successful trader and speculator, apparently had a philosphy for being a successful trader and I think it is worth mentioning here. He said, "The way to build long term returns is through preservation of capital and home runs".

So, he basically advises the opposite of what I have been doing (and a lot of others too, I reckon). That is, most people I know would snatch up any profit quickly but let a potential loss ride in the hope that it gets better. Chances are it will get worse, which means with the opposite approach, the Soros approach, the chances are that capital is preserved (as losses are cut early) and as profits are let run until momentum starts to fold, returns are maximised. Of course, when the market does a mad swing the wrong way, that nicely growing number of potential profit ticks may get lost but looking longer term, there should be some big home runs.

Another saying I have found that is attributed to George Soros is, "it's not whether you are right or wrong that's important but how much money you make when you are right and how much you lose when you are wrong"

I like that. It helps me make sense of my past trading mistakes, where I'd scalp a few points and be very happy only to mis-interpret the market direction and then sit there hoping it would swing back again, as my loss was creeping up.


I didn't do any trading last night, as my fiance Sam and I were out to dinner with an old friend of hers. I'm feeling somewhat worse for wear today. That last extra drink seemed such a good idea at the time. We got home, relieved our baby sitter (Sam's mum!) and then effectively passed out on the bed. i woke up at 5am still fully clothed. Oh dear.

Anyway, I have been looking around for some graphic components as i hope to put together my own graphing application, to show prices and volumes with price bands (bollinger bands) from Bet Fair data, using the BetFair API (free version). Not sure when I'll get time to work on this, as I am splitting any free time between: spending time with the kids, wedding related planning, trading, reading (mainly about trading, etc), eating and sleeping.

Wednesday, 13 June 2007

Using the BetFair API

If anyone out there is considering having a go at using the BetFair API to develop their own bot or tool, then you might want to initially look at the BetFair developers programme web site and then have a look here and here. The second link is to the web site of a guy who is developing his own set of automatic bots in PHP. The third link is to the developer of BF Explorer. He offers some coding demos and other good stuff.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

Ooh, Betty!

I cracked and decided I needed some more software to help me with my trading. Rather than go for Bet Angel Pro or one of the other subscription based products, I thought I'd try out one of the one off fee products I had heard good things about. I gave Bet IE Trader a go.

So, what is it like?

First of all, it has a licensing model, which involves sending an email with a code to the owner company and waiting for their reply. This isn't explained very well and seemed a bit of a strange way to go about things. Still, it worked.

In terms of the software itself, I was a little disappointed, but then again I did have very high expectations.

What I liked
I liked the weight of money graphs. These show the difference between the back and lay volumes graphically. You can easily see which way the market is pushing. This taken in addition to a graph over time gives a nice trend indication.

The ladder interface for seeing the odds and related money was very clear.

The auto hedge feature makes handling your staking easy.

The equalise button was pretty cool for greening up.

The learning mode is a clever touch, although it would be nice if it integrated in with the Betfair part of the screen (I understand why it doesn't).

What I didn't like
As a professional software developer, I am quite picky about a software package's user interface, ease of use and features. Bet IE Trader did not really impress me there and did not seem very professionally put together, windows didn't resize properly, the layout wasn't very clear.

Having half of the BetFair screen below, was not something I liked. It looked like the developers were taking a shortcut.

I'm holding my judgement until I've used it more. This was my first go with it and I'm still getting used to the ladder interface. I did accidentally make a bet I never intended, which annoyed me, but is my own fault. I'm sure it will help me improve my trading successes, which is the reason I bought it, although it does look a little amateurish.

My Plan
What I've tried doing is running Bet IE Trader and Betfair direct side by side on my two screens (I have a laptop, with its own screen and a second flat screen monitor next to it, which I extend my desktop over). This way I can see the graphs etc from Bet IE and also see the now familiar BetFair direct application.

Disheartened? Hmmmm....

(My son Harry, who walks,
runs and causes mischief)

It's a bit tough. I haven't been going long and already my bank is reduced to half.

The initial thought was, "screw this!" and the urge was to empty the account and never let thoughts of bet exchanges darken my door again. Then I remembered, how many things, that I had just started, was I an instant master at? Pretty much none.

I remember watching my little boy learning to walk. He spent most of the time teetering, stumbling and falling on his butt. If he had given up learning to walk, after hitting a few set backs, then then he wouldn't be running round, chasing the cats and generally causing mischief now. I want to be causing bet exchange mischief, so I need to get my head together and see what I have done wrong or just accept that I was unlucky. Some advice from the "New market Wizards" book was on looking to the long term. In the short term the market can turn against you but it's the overall position that you need to focus on. I'm going to focus on that.

I have decided that my current bank is my training bank, with the actual £100 to 100K starting after my honeymoon. That takes the pressure off and gives me a chance to determine my overall plan. One thing I am going to try, again influenced by the Market Wizards book, is to flip my mentality about trading around. I had been taking a risk when trades began to turn against me and giving them a few ticks lee-way and then panicking to get out, but as soon as I realised a small profit, I took it. In the short term this looked like it was working but short term evaluations can be misleading. i am going to try and be brave and aim to flip this around. Today I am going to bail out as soon as it looks like a loss could happen, aiming to get out even or take a tiny loss and let any profit potential ride. This may mean a number of scratch trades but the potential upside is a number of winners. Need to think about when to take profit when the opportunity arises, but that's a pleasant thing to think about.

Monday, 11 June 2007


Today was not so good. Every trade I put on seemed to turn against me straight away. Not a great day. My modest victory yesterday has been wiped out again. I've decided to continue with the bank I have until I get back from my honeymoon. I'm getting married in two weeks and then am away for 10 days to Thailand with my new wife!

When I get back, I plan to give the Bet Angel Pro a trial. It's £20 for 20 days and it looks pretty good. I'm having problems using Betfair direct with graphs from Bet Angel Basic. It is just too awkward. Okay, I'm making excuses but it is less than ideal.

So, I'll reset my bank to £100 and start using some pro software and see how I go.

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Learnings from "The New Market Wizards" book

So I like to read. A lot. If I am into a subject then I can't help but go through a lot of books around the subject. I know forex, options and futures trading aren't Bet exchange trading but I think there are a number of similarities and a lot to be learnt from these cousin fields.

The book I'm reading at the moment is called, "The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America's Top Traders", by Jack D. Schwager. So far I'm a couple of chapters in, but I have picked up a few lessons that I'd like to share and get feedback on.

Cutting your losses
In the interview with Randy MacKay, he says, "It's not merely a matter of how much you can afford to risk on a given trade, but you also have to consider how many potential future winners you might miss because of the effect of the larger loss on your mental attitude and trading size"

Advice for other traders
Randy gives some great advice regarding staking after a loss. He says, "...never let a loser get out of hand. You want to be sure you can be wrong 20 or 30 times in a row and still have money left in your account. If I lose on a trade, no matter how strongly I feel, on my next trade I'll risk no more than about 4 percent of my account. If I lose again, I'll drop the size down to about 2%. I'll keep reducing my trading size as long as I'm losing."

He later explains that he takes the recent events (e.g. losing or winning) as another indicator for his trading. He says, "When you are trading well you have a better mental attitude. When you are trading poorly, you start wishing and hoping. Instead of getting into trades you think will work, you end up getting into trades you hope will work."
Makes sense to me.

On trading style
MacKay talks about every successful trader having a trading style that matches his personality. So, even though someone recommends a system that works for them, if you are not a "system" minded person, it would not work for you, as you would not stick to it, etc.


After spending most of today in bed feeling ill, I managed to crawl out of bed around 2pm, after my girlfriend and the kids had gone to a birthday party. I fired up my laptop and opened up Bet Angel Basic (which I use for graphs and for the status of unmatched bets) and bet fair direct, which I use for watching the numbers and making backs/lays. I plan to get a more pro software set up, or at least trial some of the offerings out there and will post up my results.

So, with the other days losses in mind, I went in with the following strategy:

1) If a trade turns against me, get out fast

2) Make my first trade as 4 units, e.g. £20 = £5x4, then do a spread of the counter trades, e.g. if I lay at 3.0 with £20 then I might back 3.1=£10, 3.2=£5, 3.3=£5. Not sure if this is ideal, but I'm experimenting

3) Watch the market carefully, notice the rhythm as it oscillates around the various points and make sure the momentum is the correct way. If not, then get out.

This worked for me today. I carried on today with my reduced back and used either a £20 or £10 stake for my first part of a trade (mainly £10 if there was not too much of a trend, but £20 if it was more obvious).

I ended up with £7.37 in profit. Not an amazing amount, but using a bank of £56.01, it's more than a 13% profit. So I can't really complain at this point.

Why do we act like idiots?

After my idiot moment last night, where I lost half my bank, I started wondering what is it that makes these things happen. Why did I let my loss run, whereas when I was making a profit, I would be inclined to take it there and then.
I remembered something I had read in a pretty cool book about persuasion and influence (something I have a fascination about), called "The Science of Influence" by Kevin Hogan (pictured below). The book asked a couple of questions that researchers Kahneman, Slovic and Tversky had posed in 1982. Have a go at them:

Situation A:
In a game you receive $1,000 (cool game!). In addition, you have a choice between a certain gain of $500 or a 50 percent chance of winning an additional £1,000 and a 50 percent chance of winning nothing.
Which do you choose?

Situation B:
In a game you receive $2,000. In addition, you have a choice between a certain loss of $500 or a 50 percent risk of losing $1,000 and a 50 percent chance of losing nothing.
Which do you choose?

Hopefully you have made your choices. If not, then re-read the above questions and note down your answers.

-- Don't read on until you have your answers --

Okay, well, basically, both situations are the same but are framed differently (i.e. same meaning but differently directed wording).
In both situations you are deciding whether you want £1,500 guaranteed or a 50 percent chance to end up with either £1,000 or £2,000.

How do most people respond?
In situation A, they found that 84 percent of people chose the certain $1,500 (first option). Only 16 percent of people were willing to gamble on the 50-50 chance of either ending on $1,000 or $2,000.

In situation B, they found that 31 percent chose the certain $1,500 (first option). A huge 69 percent were now willing to gamble of the 50-50 chance of ending up with either $1,000 or $2,000.

The situations are 100% identical yet how they are presented makes all the difference and gives us an indication on how people make decisions.

The lesson: People will lock in a sure gain in favour of any risk in the future, but they will let their losses run.

It is a lesson I hope I have learnt now and in the future can use discipline and make sure I cut my losses and live to fight another day.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

I'm an idiot!

It's official, I'm an idiot. I managed to break the cardinal rule and have paid the price.

After a few trades, winning a few quid each time, I decided that if I intend to get from here to 100K I had better change my staking plan to something more aggressive. I changed from the current max of 10% of bank up to 25%. The idea was that if the exposure is increased then I need to reduce my risk, in order to protect my capital. So, what did I do?

Next race, I went for a lay on what looked like a rising trend but I mis-interpreted the direction the market was going and after a tick up it all turned round. I should have got out then and there, scratch trade, everyone happy. Did I do that? Nope, I did a classic schoolboy error and thought the market would turn back again. It didn't it went ploughing off. I was on the wrong side.

So, now I was on the wrong end of a rapidly moving market with little time till the off. Did I cut my losses and move on? No, I let it run, thinking (stupidly) that it was a good chance that the horse wouldn't win. So I had gone from trading to gambling. Gambling is not something I am good at. The horse won and half my bank went with it. The rest of my trading time was spent trying to recover whatever I could. Got back a measely £5 (I guess it is 10% of my current bank.

What to do now? I think I'm going to put this down to experience (read: stupidity) and learn my lesson, top up my bank back to £100 and start again.

Friday, 8 June 2007


I couldn't get onto the exchanges until gone 9.30pm, which meant the UK racing was over and only the US racing was going and it was so illiquid until a couple of minutes before the off that I couldn't really do anything.

Thursday nights trading adventure

Ok, so not much of an adventure, but a few learnings.

I was playing a few of the post 8pm UK races and looking to get a few trades in. My current problem is that I am too anxious to trade, rather than being a bit more patient and only tackling the races that have more determinable trends. On the plus side, it means I am getting experience and getting more of a feel for how the market is moving.

I currently look for an obvious trend that has some volatility in it, i.e. a general direction but some wobbles and look at the speed the money is being chomped up in the back and lay sides and how large the chunks are that are next in line. I'll use this as an indication that either the trend is strong (money chomping up fast and bigger sums lined up on one side than the other pushing the price along and amounts on the other side being eaten up), until it slows down or hits a big (e.g. £2000 as opposed to £100 or less, or the equivalent depending on how much is in the row) chunk of money. When it sits at a chunk of cash and is not really eating into it, tend to notice some other amounts wedging in there and pushing it back in the queue. I also look at how people are vying to be matched and at what point matching happens and how fast, to get a feel for the hunger of the crowd at that price. As the price shifts over time, this changes, especially nearer to the off.

My current gotcha seems to be at certain points in time, e.g. 10 minutes before the off, and after 3 minutes before the off. These seem to be points when weird things can happen, e.g. a big chunk of cash will appear, where you're not expecting it and spin the market around. Sure, this is fine if you are the right side of the market move but can cause a bt of a panic otherwise.

UK v US evening racing

So far, because of the day job, the only time I get to trade is during week day evenings. This and my chosen market to trade in (horse racing), makes life a bit tricky. As summer approaches, UK racing is running into the evenings. This is great, in my book, as there is a lot of money floating around and so lots of liquidity, where a bet/lay of £20 will be gobbled up pretty sharpish. otherwise I am trying to back/lay the US races, which seem to be pretty dead until less than 10 minutes to the off (usually not till 5 minutes). Probably due to being a bit of a newbie, I find the time pressure a bit strong, in terms of getting a trade closed in that amount of time. Also, the US horse racing market has surprised me a couple of times by suspending sooner than I had expected, which doesn't help my poor nerves.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Lesson #1 - Look before you leap

So, I have just been doing some small trades. My stake at the moment is £10, which is 10% of my total bank. I was playing the UK horse races, as they have a lot more liquidity to them to the US ones. This way I can engage it with plenty of time till the off (more than 15 minutes), so I don't have so much time pressure to close a trade.

I had just finished one trade, where the money turned against me and I narrowly got out without a loss. Feeling a bit silly, not noticing the trend starting to turn, I jumped straight into another race. I watched the screen for a couple of seconds and saw the price ticking up steadily, so I quickly put in a lay order. No sooner had I done this than the odds started dropping away. I could have kicked myself. I pulled up a price/volume graph and saw an obvious (totally obvious to even a blind penguin) down trend. What an idiot! I had jumped in and put in a trade without looking.

I scrambled and worked till the race suspended and managed, with a lot of luck, to just lose a few pence, but I learnt the lesson. I could have made a nice win there, but I managed to snatch failure from the jaws of success, by acting before I'd properly checked out the situation.

Betfair or BetDaq?

Betfair was the first exchange I ever used but after running Betfair and BetDaq side by side, I noticed that there may be an opportunity of making a few extra ticks profit from the difference in prices between the two exchanges, e.g. Betfair may have a horse with a back price of 2.1 and BetDaq may have the same one at 2.2.
I thought I had my first viable system to try. So I set up and account on BetDaq and transferred a few quid to set up a £50 bank. I ran Betfair and BetDaq side by side and took a position (lay) in Betfair when I thought a diving trend had bottomed out and then went to back in BetDaq which had a higher backing price and looked to yield a quickly scalped profit. Sadly not to be. Betdaq has such a lower level of liquidity than Betfair that playing one against the other proved not to be very effective with before the off (10 minutes or so) trading.
Perhaps this isn't the with some fatter races where there is a lot of money floating around but the early evening weekend races I was looking at just didn't have much luck.

Overall, I found Betfair to have not only more money floating around (and money moves the price, right) but it also has an API, so you can set up bots.

Betfair API

As I've got a background in software development, I was immediately interested in doing a bit of bot writing. After a look around the Betfair site I was pleasently surprised to discover that the lovely Betfair people had already put an API together.

If you're not an IT geek like me, then this may well be double dutch to you. What it basically means is that instead of having to write some clever code that effectively logs into Betfair via the web and then decodes the web site pages, clicking robotically on buttons and links, there is a ready built set of commands provided that can be used. So, instead of having to mess about working out how to put a bet on by sending a click on this and send that, we can just send a "I want to bet £20 on XYZ, please" message and voila, it's done.

It's a bit sad, but I got quite excited, especially when I found out that there was a developer version (just for guys like me!). Then the bad news. The cost. Usually API (application programming interface) are available for free but here they want £100 a month. Eek! Now, if a bit of software I write is making me £101+ a month consistently, then fine, but right now it's not. Thankfully, they also provide a free version, but it is somewhat hobbled (ever see the film misery, where the crazy woman smashed the writers legs with a big lump hammer? Well think of the equivalent thing being done to some software).

I'm going to have a look and see what I can do with the free version. My initial thought is to do some fancy graphing of price/volume information, i.e. get some bollinger bands, etc going. I'll report back when I have (may take a little while, mind). If there's anyone out there that have already done some Betfair free API work and fancy a chat and to swap some ideas, drop me a note.

Betfair Direct

I don't know about you but my first experience with actually putting down real money on Betfair was via BetAngel Basic. This free to use piece of software offers a way to perform one click trades, rather than messing around typing in amounts and odds etc. My problem with it is was that you are limited to accepting the currently offered odds, so can't ask for a nicer price.

My initial thought is that I don't want to pay out for software until I have my trading strategy down and working and returning more than the cost of using the software. Well, I got lucky there. Betfair themselves have released (in beta) their own downloadable piece of software called Betfair Direct. Currently it is free, but they do mention in the small print that they reserve the right to charge for it later on, if they want to. I have been using it since I found it a few days ago. Ok, so its not amazing, i.e. it doesn't have a ladder interface, it doesnt do graphs, etc, but it does let you put trades in pretty fast, you can ask for odds and it is easier for trading than the web interface.

You can get Betfair direct from

The initial £100 bank

My starting bank, a couple of weeks ago, when I first discovered Bet Exchanges and Bet Fair, was £100.
I discovered bet exchanges pretty recently. My Dad, who died a couple of years ago, came across them in about 2004 and got hold of a report called something like, "How to make bets that never lose". He showed me the advert for it and I read it but racing and gambling were'nt really my thing and so I pretty much forgot about it.

About a month ago I was rooting around in the garage and I came across some of Dad's old papers and things and there amongst them was the report. Out of curiosity, I picked it up and skimmed through. Although I didn't fully get how Betfair worked from the screenshots, I picked up the idea behind backing and laying the same thing and making money on the difference in price. I took the report inside and read it cover to cover right there and then, much to the chagrin of my girlfriend, who had a list of jobs for me to do (he he!).

The report didn't give any real "how-to" details but it did introduce me to bet exchanges and the idea of trading, especially the concept of the free bet and "greening up".

The next step was to sign in to Betfair and have a look round. I did this and was pretty confused. Lots of boxes with rapidly changing numbers. Nope. I didn't have a clue and thought it was going to be a pretty steep learning curve. I was wrong.

I went on-line and a-googling. I searched for whatever I could about bet exchanges, bet exchange trading, betfair, etc. Eventually I found a couple of sites that were selling various systems. Being a bit of a newbie and with the information not costing much and having what looked like quite a lot of info and video clips, etc, I bought it.

What did I get for my money? Well, after reading through a few times, I finally understood how betfair worked and also learnt of the existance of "bots". I have a strong IT background and my instant reaction to the idea of bet exchanges was to write some code to help with it, but it looked like there were a few out there already, which was cool.
The system mentioned didn't seem to work very well on the markets I had available to test on (around 9pm-12pm UK time, USA Horse racing markets), but I was now hooked.

My plan was to try and work out my own system to use and to do this I was going to make minimal stakes of £2 per trade, whilst reading whatever I could. That was 2 weeks ago.

I slid down to about £70 and have since come back up again to about £90 and am now ready to start. So £90 is in the bank and it begins.

First Post


My names Richard. I've got a number of diverse interests and one of those is trading on the bet exchanges. Just to give an idea of what I mean by diverse, I have worked in IT for a number of years (For those in the know or who like IT acronyms: SQL Server, .NET, AS, SSIS, XML, etc), I am an avid screenwriter and involved in putting together a short film ( and am also a hypnotist and NLP master practitioner.
So, basically, I am a bit strange!

The hardest part of my life is trying to find time to do anything! I am in the process of getting married (2 weeks to go) and my finance and I have two kids (Rebecca who is 8 and little Harry who is 2).

The purpose of this blog is to document my progress Bet Exchange trading, starting with a tiny bank of £100 and aiming for a chunky £100K (nice if you've got it). I plan to discuss any ideas, strategies and learnings and feedback on any developments I make in terms of software etc. I'm aiming to put together my own bit of trading software using the Betfair API, so if anyones interested, I can share details of that.

Oh yeah, I intend to focus solely on Horse racing as the market for my trading. I'm not particularly interested in horse racing per se, but it seems to be an idea to focus on a specific market and there are a lot of races every day.