Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sultan's Blog Review: Part 2

Continuing my blog reviews from yesterday. All blogs can be found on my blog-roll to the right of this page.

There are a few blogs which are more general trading blogs and don't focus specifically on one sport. One of my faves is 'Betfair Trading Challenge - Yet Another One' which has been around for ages under different guises. Another new name for 2012! Here, Average Guy gives his personal account of his trading exploits. It has to be said that in the past, he has been very down on himself, which often results in unnecessarily negative posts. I know he's trying to change that but it's not easy when you can't quite seem to crack this trading lark. Nonetheless, it's writing from the heart and strong writing at that, with a nice dark humour under-pinning it. A very under-rated blog; even the author himself doesn't realise how good this blog could be (if he wants it to!) with some more regular posts that have some of the detail of last year. Average Guy does 'anguish' well, but let's hope the struggles end in 2012.

'Patient Speculation'
is another long-term blog on my list that was a real fave of mine. There were some innovative ideas, such as a 'post of the week' section (the best posts from other blogs highlighted and debated) and top trading-related quotes, as well as some insightful writing. It's a blog that really took part in the notion of a sports trading community and provided help, guidance and wisdom for its readers. Unfortunately, Mark seems to have abandoned this and gone for the run-of-the-mill P&L / picks daily posts, which I have to be honest, I stopped looking at after a few days and have not checked for months. I plead with Mark to give us a bit more because he knows his stuff and has a knack for blogging that most don't have. Patient Speculation is a real resource for traders and even now, is worth looking back through old 'posts of the week' in particular.

Then there's the brilliant 'Sports Trading Life', which consistently has thought-provoking and superbly written posts about pretty much every sport you can trade. Of course, STL has a strong incentive to be good - they have products to sell! No one is forcing you to buy them though, so I urge you to read through the articles and pick up some valuable insight. Not really sure about this 'Mug's Selections' idea though. Surely a true mug punter would just bet on the short-priced favourite every time, so therefore, this section doesn't really work? Anyway, just splitting hairs, as the interviews and knowledge imparted are a must-read for any aspiring trader.

Finally, a few new blogs that have come to my attention. 'Yorkshireman in SE20' is a new title for an old blog that had been rested for a while by Rob The Builder, who you might remember from 'Gambling Cos Building's Up the Spout'. Was a good read in the old incarnation, though don't expect too much trading talk this time around (he says!). It won't matter too much if the humour and quality of writing remains as entertaining. 'It Only Matters When There's Money On It' is a brand new blog, so not much to say about this except that I instantly added it to my blog-roll because it is well written. The author likes his tennis too and that's something we need to see more of in the sports blogosphere. 'Talking Tennis Trading' is also a recent addition and although posts have been sparse, it's again, well written and could develop into something which can fill a bit of a void.

Two young upstarts in the form of 'Bet19' and 'Trading Betfair' are well worth a read. What I like about them is that they are obviously fairly new to trading (or still learning the ropes) but unlike many blinkered, arrogant blogging newbies, seem to have their feet on the ground. Bet19 in particular has a strong quality of writing and plenty to say - a natural blogger. Both authors write about the emotional side of trading and are prepared to admit their mistakes and to take on knowledge from others and improve. That's why I think they could both be successful as traders and why it's worth following their progress. I'm also going to add '500-5000' to this new blog section. After a rocky start to blogging life last year (where the author was torn apart by a few traders for an embarrassing mistake with a Bundesliga bet), the author has returned this year with a new attitude, focus and a more realistic goal (although the blog is still called 500-5000!). We've all made daft mistakes in our trading lives and it's how we learn from these that will often determine how successful we are. I think it's a good sign that 500-5000 (still think he needs a catchier moniker - how about 'The Fuhrer'?!) has taken on board criticism and hasn't just skulked away and is persevering. I will be following to see whether he earns his stripes in 2012 and hope to see him progress.

The above are a stark contrast to the final blog on my list - John O'Dwyer's 'Betfair Profit and Loss'. It's not much of a read these days, more of an occasional P&L update but I follow because I live in hope that one day, John will wake up and admit he's got it all horribly wrong and listen to what I and Cassini and countless others have told him. Read the blog from start to finish (if he's not deleted most of it) and you'll see how cruel this game can be if you get over-confident and think you've made it without following basic principles of trading, such as bank management and finding a true edge. Read my interview with John from last year and Cassini's follow up, here. Again, I stress that I'm not trying to get at O'Dwyer (some of his errors are similar to mine) but trying to get him to end the cycle of madness that he has found himself in for over a year now. And if he remains too stubborn to do that (and recent posts suggest things are actually getting worse, as he now wants a £3-4,000 bank before he has the 'stability' required to win) then I hope at least others out there will learn from those mistakes. Trips to watch the US Open in New York might seem like the pot of gold at the end of the trading rainbow but what does it all matter when a year later, you are struggling to pay the bills?

Any good blogs I've not mentioned, throw them my way and I'll take a look, maybe even review it. Please, no purely P&L, tips or picks blogs, nothing trying to sell a service and nothing too stats based. Anything that is well written and genuinely interesting, I'll stick on my blog-roll (please don't be upset if I don't add you, it's just that I'm not interested in blogs that have little so say other than a list of picks/tips/stats/P&L).


OFF-COURT BEAUTY: More Ana Ivanovic!


  1. Second time someone has said my blog is 'well written'. Always a nice compliment. Good list here, I shall have to take a look at some of the ones I've never heard of before.

    A personal favourite of mine is TPI at his reincanated blog although I've just realised its not on my blogroll for some reason!

  2. Thanks for the kind words. Hope I can live up to the hype.

  3. Despite having a list of daily fancies (not tips) seven days a week my blog regularly discusses Betfair which I have been on since the days of, topical sporting news and issues and everything else under the sun. Currently have 50 subscribers and have amassed 500+ twitter followers over the years through the blog.
    I've seen blogs come and go, often five minute wonders who never stand the test of time? Have you never come across my blog? Give it a look. It also has lovelies like yours :)

    1. Hi Mully, I have seen your blog before, maybe I was put off by the horse racing (don't often bother reading nag blogs) but I'll add you to my list and check out some of these girls you speak of ;)

    2. There's often an abundance of those. Sadly the only one to speak of this week has been Deirdre Barlow :)

  4. Another super blog that looks at the angle of "Dosage" in order to select horses is

  5. Thanks for the kind words Sultan, glad you enjoy reading my progress.


  6. Hi Sultan,

    Many thanks for the kind words. I have to agree with the other posters who have applauded your blog also - it's become essential reading!

    All the best and keep up the good work.


  7. Sultan

    I'm hurt. Despite having been blogging for well over a year and having a decent number of hits I've not made it onto either your blog roll or this "top list"! ;-)

    I've got a decent interview on there at the moment with Hugh Taylor of At The Races fame so could hardly be accused of just being a P and L. Oh well I suppose I will just have to try harder ;-)


    1. Hi Geoff, as I said to mully, I have seen most blogs out there at some point but as soon as I see nag related stuff, I tend to switch off. Just can't get interested in it and there's a million and one horse racing blogs out there, so if I see a hint of a horse anywhere, I just tend to move straight on. Nothing personal!

      I only have two nag blogs on my list, one of them who approached me personally and the other I found on Geeks Toy Forum and rarely writes about horses, more the personal side of his trading, which I like. I will add you anyway, the more the merrier :)

  8. Hi Sultan,

    have a little look at my blog, i am a complete noob at trading,( only started from november) and still finding my feet a little bit. i'm trying to Blog about what im learning and where i am learning it from and anything that i think will help me progress into a seasoned trader. Probably not much substance for expierenced traders but may be okay for any other noobs starting out.

    Love to hear your thoughts or even advise on what you think could make it a good read.



    1. A few criticisms for you - please don't take them the wrong way, just trying to help, as you asked! I think the most important thing for any new blog, is to at least look appealing. Yours has too many ads on, very distracting. The other thing that really puts me off a blog is poor spelling and grammar. You might say that's being picky but if you find reading a blog a chore, you aren't going to bother reading it again. Got to use spell-check and clean up those errors! :)

      As for the actual content, what makes a blog stand out for me, is one that has something different to say. If you are just regurjitating what we already know about what happened in a match or just explaining what you did in a trade, it's not really any different to what dozens of other blogs are doing.

      I find the best blogs have their own voice; their own way of talking about something that marks it out as different. Just giving a list / table of stats or picks is only interesting if the person is really successful, otherwise, it doesn't mean anything or matter to anyone other than the author.

      It's probably better to write about your thoughts, feelings etc and use some humour or talk about trading psychology. That's just my opinion, others may disagree but if you look at the popular blogs, they have a distinct voice / character, they write about things in an engaging way or they offer something different. As a new trader, it's hard to be different so you definitely need to make the blog look nice, easy to read but also concise - if it's too long and too detailed, people won't bother reading it all.

      Don't worry about having 'substance' for other traders. You can't have that because you are a novice, so all you can provide is a fun read and talk about your own experiences.

      Hope that helps!


    2. Hi Sultan,

      I have to admit i agree with all your points above, i will definatly try and take them on board.. hopefully as i gain more experience and confidence in my trading,i'll become more confident blogging about my experiences. First thing i will do though is use spell check going forward and clean up them ads :)

      Again i appreciate that you took the time to have a read through the blog. I'm always eager to learn and sometimes its nice to get a little criticism to point you in the right direction, ( we can't all be natural bloggers like

      Cheers mate


    3. Any time Derek. Don't worry too much about pleasing other people though. It can distract from your trading and that caused me a lot of problems when I first started. Just concentrate on getting your trading right and then write about what happened. Think of the blog as a personal diary rather than a resource or entertainment for others. As you get used to it, you'll find your writing gets better.

  9. Thanks for the mention Sultan, I realised your blog wasn't on my list...erm...sorry about that. It is on the list now! Thanks again, and keep up the good blogging!


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