Monday, 13 June 2011

The Green, Green, Grass of Home

I've finally settled into the grass court season. Today was another good day and that's almost a full week of profitable days now. I was able to tweak my system, primarily by thinking and making trades on a slightly longer term basis, and ended up with a strong profit for the start of the grass-court season despite the bad first couple of days. So I'm no longer concerned about the rest of the month and feel relieved that really there is nothing more I need to think about tinkering with, regarding my system. It's pretty much the finished article now; I know exactly how to approach each type of surface, which was the last remaining major issue I had. It's a great feeling to finally be able to say that I'm 100% happy with my strategy. 16 months of hard graft has finally come to fruition!

So now there is no obstacle in my way for continuing to gradually increase stakes. Tomorrow, I will be adding another 33%, which will leave me close to the amount I was using when I first started this blog. The difference in my ROI between then and now is huge, so I expect to be making larger sums per day on a good day, than I was back in February. So my main focus will now turn back towards my psychological approach. I still obviously have not attained that level of mental strength that I desire and will require in order to be successful with trading as my sole income. I still occasionally lose my full stake, believe it or not, which is something that really should never happen with my experience. And I've had a few issues with losing half stakes a few times in recent weeks, which seems to be something psychological to do with the fact I'm using less liability than usual. I'm working my way through that one now! But my research still shows time and time again, and it still glaringly obviously stares out at me off the page after every week when I look back on my written records - when I'm properly focused, I trade well, when I'm distracted or in the wrong frame of mind, I make errors. And although I've known this for a long time now, for some reason, I still end up having days where I just can't seem to get it together.

It is only usually one day a week, two at the most, but that one day of poor concentration can be the difference between me doubling my bank for the week or instead, looking back in anguish at what could have been. My focus levels are vastly improved from how they were 6 months ago but I'm disappointed at the lack of improvement in recent weeks. I expected this area to kick-on in the same way that everything else has with my trading but it appears to have stagnated and I'm not quite sure what to do next. Like I say, most days are fine but I just can't maintain the level that I need on every day.

I guess it's not surprising considering I trade every single day. I probably need to take a day off each week but I find it very hard to just chill-out at the moment and so I end up itching to get back to the ladders instead of trying to take it easy. I see that as a good thing though because it means my enthusiasm for trading is high and I want to push forward and make more money. But there are times when I just get a bit bored during sessions and my mind wanders to other stimulus. Finding that balance of when to rest the mind and the techniques required to re-focus quickly are something I will be working on this week. I need to dig a little deeper and work on strategies such as more exercise breaks, continually talking to myself and just stopping and doing something different every now and then. I think I still have a tendency to try and push through those difficult periods and fight against the lack of focus, rather than admit defeat.

Overall though, things are continuing to advance at a steady pace and if it hadn't been for the gorgeous Maria Kirilenko's failure to convert break points from 0-40 on two occasions today, I would have been sitting on a 3 figure day! Only on grass would Kimiko Date-Krumm be able to serve her way out of that trouble! It's happened on several occasions with the women over the past few days and it's driving me nuts. I still can't wait to get back to the red-dirt!


  1. Hi,

    Could you please share some advices abaut how to approach each surface ,like stay longer in ,clay lose serve more often and need extra caution ,things like that . thank you again for your great blog !

  2. Hi Speedwave. It really depends on what your strategy is, so it's hard to give advice. What I do also depends a lot on who is playing and what is happening in the match, so again, there's not much advice I can give.

    Generally though, I rarely start a trade by backing someone on serve on the clay, so I'm almost always going against the server. On quicker surfaces, I tend to be far more cautious going against the server. I still will back against the server but I am much more selective about when I get involved. Once I've started the trade, it doesn't really matter what the surface is, I will stay in as long as I feel comfortable, which could be one game, could be the whole match!

  3. Grass is a bit different because, as a fast surface, I would normally go with the server more often. But with the men on grass, the prices often hardly move for a hold of serve, especially with the big servers like Roddick. So often it's not worth going with the server to start a trade because the downside is too big in comparison.

    So actually, I've had to find more ways of going AGAINST the server on grass. Fast indoor surfaces can have similar price movements too. This is why I have done more WTA over the grass court season, because you still get plenty of breaks if you choose the right matches.

  4. Thank you ! If you think of a statistic of your bets am I right that abaut 60-80% of strategys rely on lay ? I tend to notice this long time ago ,laying involves less risk for little loss while when I back for instance 1.4-1.6 ,the price jumps alot and loss is much bigger.

  5. No, I hardly ever lay! I'd say 80-90% of my trades are backs.

    Of course when you lay, the initial risk is often smaller than a back bet but what I always say is that your liability is only ever as big as you make it. Just because you back someone for £100, it doesn't mean that you might lose £100. One of the hardest skills in trading is 'redding-up', admitting you were wrong and cutting your losses. If you master this, you will probably master trading.

    If you back someone at 1.4 for £100, your max liability is £100. But there is nothing stopping you getting out of the trade for a £10, £20, £30 or £40 loss, is there? That is what I do. I have a max stop-loss and at that point, I give up. If you lay at 1.4 for £100, your max liability is £40 but don't forget, the odds are against you - you are going against the market so theoretically, there is less chance of you making money than backing at 1.4. So you are actually taking more of a risk.

    What I see a lot with new traders is that they struggle with this so instead go for strategies that involve laying at low odds, so they don't have to worry about redding-up so much. This is fine and many traders I'm sure do well with this strategy. But for me, I found that it limits what I can do as a trader. You have to be much more patient and selective when choosing matches and entry points, which doesn't really suit me.

    But I do lay occasionally. I just prefer to fit the strategy to the match, rather than fit the match to the strategy because I have more options and more ways of making money.

  6. Do you ever get involved when injury occurs or take some messure if you're already in ? For example yeastarday Wickmayer looked very affected by the ball hitting her eye , here price rised from 1.08 to 1.7 , was very tempted to lay her but the opponent was so bad that she win it the match.

  7. It depends on the type of injury, the market reaction and whether I am in the market already or not. Each game is different, so I can't really answer your question.

    What I can say is that getting involved when a player looks to be injured or ill has given me some very big wins in the past but also has given me some of my biggest losses. So I'm very, very careful about getting involved these dsys. The market often over-reacts to injuries that aren't that bad and if you get involved, you can find yourself in a difficult position when it becomes obvious that the 'injured' player is actually fine.

    In my opinion, it's always better to be safe than sorry and so I would get out of any situation where it seems uncertain what will happen next. Remember, we are traders, not gamblers, we should always look to protect our money.

  8. Also, just because a player is injured, it doesn't mean they won't win! I've lost money on 3 games this year, where the injured player actually started playing BETTER and their opponent strated playing WORSE, after the injury!

    It happens sometimes because the injured player starts to take more chances and really focus harder, whilst the opponent gets confused and doesn't know how to cope with this new situation. Murray v Berrer at the French Open, this happened. Also, Querrey v Robredo and Tipsarevic v Del Potro, which I wrote about in this blog. They cost me A LOT of money.

  9. Also happened with Montanes v Fognini at the French Open but I WON money on that game!

  10. So actually long term is better to back the injured player ,it happent to me to ,I remember one Russian woman had some breath problems and acting very strange (I cant breath I cant breath ! ) but on last set she was fresh and win the set fast and easy !

  11. I wouldn't say it's better to back the injured player long term. To be honest, I don't have a clue, it's almost impossible to say which will be better long term because every market movement is different for each injury. I don't think it's a viable strategy. My advice would be to play it safe whenever there is an injury.


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