Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality

And so the London Olympics come to a close and I have to admit, I'm totally Olympic-ed out. I watched almost every sport and for several hours on each of the 17 days, so I am exhausted, despite the fact I barely left my armchair for 2 weeks! I'm really going to miss flicking from one sport to another, learning about sports I'd barely seen before such as handball and taekwando and seeing intelligent, humble and articulate athletes competing fairly (on the whole) and straining every sinew for nothing more than a slab of metal. Now we are about to go into the football season and I am dreading seeing the complete antithesis of cheating, diving, gamesmanship, greediness, mind-numbing interviews and self-absorbed histrionics. The Olympics will only serve as a stark contrast, highlighting how much I have fallen out of love with football. I am really going to miss them.

I am glad to get back to normal though, mostly because my trading faltered during the second week. I traded the Olympic tennis in week 1, so no problem there but I was so enthralled with the other sports, that I always had half an eye on the TV (and in some cases, both eyes!) when I should have been focusing on the ladders. As a consequence, week 2 was my worst week of trading for a long time. The Rogers Cup over in Canada, suffered from major downpours which disrupted play all week, and that also contributed to many missed matches. All in all, a sub-standard week but without Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and co. around to distract me, I expect to regain my concentration  for Cincinnati this week.

This time last year, I was having a dreadful time, as you'll see from the following post:


Reading back on this, one thing that strikes me is how I didn't know what was going to happen from one day to the next. I could have a perfectly decent day of trading or out of nowhere I could self-destruct and lose an entire week's good work. That has completely changed now and I think, (aside from the obvious in that I have a much better strategy now) a big reason for that is my routine. I didn't really have one a year ago, or at least, not one I would stick to for very long.

Today, I have a routine that I religiously adhere to and has become ingrained. It starts from the moment I wake up in the morning, when I will do eye exercises to get me ready for a long period of staring at the ladders, so they don't get irritable or ache later on. I now always run through my daily goals whilst I shower, as I find this the best time to get my head in the right place. I get all distractions out the way early on, by checking emails and facebook etc before I start to trade. Then through the session, I make sure I stretch regularly and keep notes as I go along. I will always slot in a decent break at some point, to recharge the batteries and will go out for some fresh air if I need to. At the end of the day, I'll analyse my performance and see if there are any issues which may need to be worked on. Individually, these tasks may not seem like much but together, they work very well at keeping me focused mentally and physically. I know that I only trade badly when my body or mind is not at or near its optimum, so I know it's essential for this routine to be kept to. Last week, it wasn't and my trading suffered.

The 'Numb' post was the beginning of a new era for me. It was the first time in several months where I started to lift my game and work hard again. I introduced the FPD Plan, which was the first of several new plans and strategies I developed to improve my trading and this includes my routine. Routines can become boring and it's human nature to want to fiddle with things and change them. But that's part of the challenge of trading - holding your discipline when it becomes mundane. I now have to get back to reality and knuckle down.

Eugenie Bouchard:


  1. I watched all I could, mostly via the BBC website after trading had finished. There online 'catchup' coverage was fantastic as it allowed me to watch more sports that if watching live. Being able to skip to races/points of interest and cut out all the waffle in-between was great. I managed to watch and cheer on pretty much all Team GB medal wins (and losses) and loved every minute of it, although like you I felt completely knackered by the end!

    I watched many things for the first time, some of which had me baffled. Things like when I saw a women footballer get kicked in the face, she went down (as you would), but then got straight back up with no complaints, rubbed her nose and got on with it. Another time when I saw a women hockey player take a stick to the face, went down but got straight back up, rubbed her nose and got it with it. My brain couldn't computer what I was seeing! Where was the histrionics, the rolling around, the faking, the rest of the team surrounding the ref demanding a card, all quite baffling, but a welcome welcome sight! I watched the charity shield the other day with the least excitement I can ever remember, not because I'm not looking forward to watching football again, but because I know I will once again have to endure the cheating, faking, diving and gamesmanship that come with it!

    My only regret was not being able to attend the Olympics due to trading. Had a shocking year so just couldn't afford to. How do you have the time to do anything but trade as I know you cover pretty much all events, where as I only cover 500+ events and still feel frazzled, still miss out on many of events/things to do in hope that the sacrifices eventually pay off.

    Roger cup was a nightmare. Thursday should have been a fantastic day with many competitive matches, all of which would have had fantastic liquidity, something that was badly missing in Olympic tennis, but all that potential went out the window when the rain came flying in! Hopefully this week will be better!

    1. The men should take a leaf out of the women. As you say, they get knocked down and just get on with it. But then, there isn't as much cynical fouling going either.

      I don't know why they don't just buy some court covers for these US tournaments. I heard Djokovic moaning about just that, saying it takes 45 mins to get the court dry every time.

      Just because I trade every tournament, doesn't mean I trade every match or every day. I used to do as much as was available but now that I'm half decent at it, I find that I don't normally do more than an average 40 hour week. I made all my sacrifices over the past few years, now is my time to start getting some of my life back!

  2. Just re-read on my own post (my first ever) on your numb thread and seems Roger Cup is always subject to rain delays and video failure! At least the video cut out's wasn't as bad this year, but how hard is it to make sure there is 50 cents in the metre?! Hopefully we won't be discussing the same this time next year.

  3. A Classic! :)


  4. Hi Sultan. I have been reading your blog for a while, and have only recently started to look into tennis trading. I wanted some advice as I am a bit unsure at the moment. I have a calculator, where I put in pre-match odds, serve percentages for players. (similar to Bet Angel Tennis Trader). As the match goes on, I update it with scores, person serving, if the games is 3/5 sets etc. The calculateor will then give me a value price, it is adjusted slighlty to take into account that the calculator cant be 100% accurate..so I go for say 20% better prices. (if that makes sense). My problem is, I can open a trade, either backing or laying based on this value price. However, I am finding it hard to close a trade. So I open numerous trades at different parts of the match. However, in order to place the opposing trade, my calculator tells me to close it at x price which is value. I cant get these prices all the time. What would be the best way to go about this? Any help or advice will be much appreciated. I am new so the above might sound really stupid..if so, I do apologise.

  5. Hi Abu, I have to be honest, I'm not really sure what you mean! I don't use a calculator so I'm not familiar with your method. All I will say is this - keep it simple. A calculator can give you value prices based on a number of variables but it can't factor in what is happening in the match that you can see with your own eyes. It also can't factor in how the market is responding to that action (or how you think the market is likely to respond). I know there are different ways to go about working out value but I use nothing other than my own experience of watching the sport and the ladders.

    As for not getting matched, that's just part and parcel of trading - sometimes you get matched, sometimes you don't. I have to say, it's very rare that I don't get matched. If I don't get matched, I either enter at a lower price if I still feel there is value but if there is none, I don't get involved. I don't really see how a calculator can tell you when it is value to close a trade. That is where your judgement has to come in, based on what is happening in the match and your experience.

    Unless you've been trading for a long time, you won't know how to do this all the time because you won't know the players and how the market tends to operate. You are looking for patterns but you won't know those patterns without many months and hundreds of hours of study.

    My advice is to ditch the calculator and watch the ladders and the matches. That will give you a better idea of where the value is and you will probably get matched quicker cos you aren't fiddling around with an instrument.

    Good luck!

  6. Abu,

    taking 10% tick loses for 30% win ticks is good trade.


  7. Hi.Thank you for the advice. I've been watching the ladders for the past few days without trading, and I've spotted a few occassions where the price seems to either dip too low or go to high. Also, it seems the first set is not as volatile as the 2nd/3rd set.

    When trading, do you have s betting bank say of 100 points . So throughout the match you place 1 point everytime you open a trade..adding to your position. So say BAck Player A at various points in the match, say at 1.80, 1.65, 1.60 etc. And then close the positions. IS this a good way to manage a betting bank?

  8. I trade by opening one position and then closing it whenever I feel is best. I hardly ever add to that position. If you keep adding to your position, you are only increasing your exposure and making it more likely you will take a big loss. You should pre-define what percentage of your bank you are prepared to stake and what percentage you are prepared to lose and then work from there.

    How people split their betting banks differs wildly and will depend on your personality, your style of trading and your strategy. One thing that I have read many, many times from experienced traders, is that you should try and make your strategy work with level stakes because if it won't produce results with that, it has no chance with variable stakes. You can start varying stakes as you become experienced and have a proven strategy.


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