Tuesday, 29 March 2011
Today could have very easily gone down a dark, dingy, inescapable tunnel to oblivion. I couldn't have started any worse. A £50 loss on Peng v Dulgheru is the equivalent of one of my old horror shows when I was using large stakes. What made it so irritating was not so much the amount lost but the way it was thrown away. Firstly, I placed a pre-match bet. As you may be aware by now, this is rule numero uno of Sultan Strategy - NEVER EVER TAKE A PRE-MATCH POSITION. So why did I do it? It was an accumulation of factors regarding our lovely Chinese friend, Shaui. I have bitten my tongue for weeks now, trying hard not to just outright back The Pengu, who is one of the hottest players on the tour this year. Game after game, tournament after tournament has passed by as she has performed time and time again, pushing closely and occassionally beating the very best. Each time, I've watched in frustration and awe, as she seemed to get better and better. As the weeks marched on, I expected her to run out of steam. After her loss to Sharapova at Indian Wells, where she was actually ahead in the final set and looked as though she was going to cap an amazing comeback with her biggest ever win, I thought she must surely, finally crumble mentally. But no. She came back even stronger, mullering Greta Arn, Aravane Rezai and Kuzzy the Klown without dropping a single set. So I reached the end of my tether. No way was I going to miss out on yet another Pengu destruction. I mean, come on, she's up against Alex Dulgheru, a girl who has done nothing since last year's clay court season.........
I don't need to tell you the rest. Peng was handed out the kind of beating she herself had been dishing to all and sundry. I would never blame her of course, as I had ample opportunities to come out for a smaller loss. But I just couldn't see any way she would lose 2-0. At 5-1 down in set 2, Peng suddenly found her game and won 3 in a row, so I hung on in there but she ran out of steam. This was a classic example of why, if you have a plan you should always stick to that plan no matter what. As soon as you start making exceptions, it's asking for trouble. And the problem is, when you divert from your strategy it is often because you are '100% certain' that what you are doing can't fail. Which usually means that no matter how bad the situation becomes, you will be reluctant to reverse out of it - that's not trading, it's gambling.
But as any experienced trader will tell you, it's how you respond to the losses that will determine how successful you are. And I couldn't have responded much better. I just got my head down and ploughed on, barely making an error for the rest of the day. I truly was in the zone. Such a pity that one huge blot has ruined an otherwise blemish-free text book. Even cutting that red in half would have given me a very satisfying day. But on the bright-side, I do believe that this is the first time since I began this blog that I've had 4 consecutive days of profit! And that can only be attributed to one thing - better bank management.
I'm not doing much different to what I was doing previously. The only real difference is that I'm not afraid to get involved and go with my intuition and for the most part, I'm following my strategy much better. What I've found most difficult to adjust to, is the amounts of money I'm dealing with. It's still strange to me to be seeing figures that are 3 times smaller than I was used to. I've had to reign myself in and force myself to be happy with single figure wins. I just keep telling myself to imagine double or triple the greens, so I can see the future potential of what I could be making. But for now, it feels great to have the anxiety gone and my confidence returning and you can't put a price on that.