Friday, 20 January 2012


Long time readers will know that I am not much of a statistics guru. I'd go as far as to say I have very little interest in them. However, I do keep detailed notes on all my trades; what I did, the prices I took and the errors I made. These help me to work out what I could/should have won or lost and to see what is working and what isn't. I usually calculate a few basic stats every so often. As I write this, I have traded 101 games this season. Of those 101, I have made errors in 40. So almost half of all games traded could have been traded better. That is a lot of mistakes but miraculously, I'm still turning a good profit, which just goes to show how I'm not letting those errors affect me. It gives me great hope for the future too because if I can cut out most of those mistakes, my profit will boom.

The majority of those mistakes were made because I jumped into the market too soon. There were 27 matches where, if I'd waited longer for a better value price, I would have made a profit / increased profit, over what I actually got. I also counted 15 matches where I didn't exit early enough from an all-red position and another 15 matches that I got involved in when I should have just stayed away. So that's almost a third of all matches that have cost me more money than they should have. But the most staggering statistic of all is the following; if I'd let my initial entry bet run on for longer (either right to the end of the match or greening up closer to the end of the match) I would have increased my current profit by more than TEN TIMES! I worked it out as a monumental 1200% difference!

It's been tough to adapt to my new approach, particularly with the fact that I now have to accept far more losses. It's a challenge to maintain discipline when I frequently get a run of small reds but one I'm dealing with really well. My old approach was based on gaining lots of little to medium sized wins and hoping to keep my reds (which were medium to large to super-size) to a minimum. Now, I'm looking to maximize my wins by being more aggressive and letting my green positions run as long as possible. This is only just starting to become more natural for me and I am getting better and better at choosing the best moments to green up. However, these stats show that I could still be even more aggressive and let those green positions ride even further. There is a danger that it could just be a short-term anomaly and that the stats will even out in the long term but this isn't the first time that my analysis has shown that letting my greens run for longer would produce greater profit. It's just never quite been on this scale!

Redding-up is now less of an issue as it was last year. I've only had two losses which were over £50 and just one of those was a three figure sum (a blip from week 1 on a market I don't normally and haven't since gotten involved in), so I'm in control of things much more these days.

The overview of those first 101 matches though, is very simple; I'm STILL not being patient enough. Nothing new there then! My new mantra which I appear to have subconsciously picked up from another blog I think, is 'Keep your powder dry'. I keep re-iterating this every day but now these stats show that by doing this, I could be exactly where I want to be with my trading after all these years.

By the way, does anyone remember 'Statto' from Fantasy Football League back in the 90s? Brilliantly witty programme hosted by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner (comedy genius). Think Statto's real name is Angus Loughran (?) and is known to be a sports trader these days. Maybe someone can fill me in on that.

OFF-COURT BEAUTY: World number 46, Iveta Benesova of the Czech Republic:


  1. I eventually stopped trading on tennis simply because my preferred method ( plenty of small greens, few reds ) doesn't work, and however much I banged my head into timber, I couldn't instinctively lay low. So I moved onto other sports.

    On the Angus Loughran thread, he was declared bankrupt a few years ago over a Sporting Index debt. He's mainly a newspaper columnist these days I believe.

    1. Hi Rob, not sure you are right in that it doesn't work. I'm a firm believer that anything can work if you find an edge. That way didn't work for me or for you. For me, I found the discipine requred to red up early, too difficult and much prefer what I do now because I don't have to worry about it so much. I never had an edge the old ay though, so it was always doomed anyway!

      I think when you are getting lots of small wins, it's easy to think you have found an edge when in truth, you may not be using value at all if your reds are wiping them all out.

      Oh dear! I guess being a stats man doesn't neccessarily equate to being good at betting on sports!

  2. Hello mate, "if I'd waited longer for a better value price, I would have made a profit / increased profit". Are you sure that's realistic to expect to enter at the best entry point and get out at the top exit point EVERY time ? I hope you don't get unrealistically high expectations and lose sight of the fact you're turning a good profit. Great to see your profits arriving (don't forget to read back over some of the posts from your bad times), keep em coming and don't be overly critical on yourself. Good job mate, now keep it up!

  3. Hi AG. Of course it is unrealistic to expect to get it right every time. I was only talking about those 27 matches out of 101. The other 74 matches would still have produced the same results, including losses. I picked out 27 because they were matches where I jumped in too early, against my strategy. In other words, they should not have happened and if I had followed my strategy properly, they would have produced wins. There were other matches in the remaining 74, where even following the strategy correctly, they would have still been losers.

    I made a point of going back through every match 3 times, to make sure I was being honest and realistic and every time, the results were the same. Only time will tell if I'm right though, so I'll be keeping my feet on the ground for now, don't worry about that!


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