A day in the life…..2 years on

**Originally posted in 2013 but the post was lost

So I have just completed my third year as a full time trader. I recently found an old post from 2 years ago in which I tried to give an insight into my typical working day. I thought it would be interesting to do something similar again so here it is.

If you’re reading this then you have some interest in Betfair trading. The majority of you will trade part time as either a fun hobby or to try to make a little extra cash on top of your main income. If your job has become a little tedious or you are having a rough time then I’m sure you will have dreamed about working for yourself and Betfair trading will have made a guest appearance in those thoughts.

It takes a certain type of person to be able to trade full time and I’m not just talking about trading ability. For most of my working life I didn’t have a typical 9 to 5 working day. I worked late shifts, night shifts and weekends on a regular basis. I also worked long hours and 14 / 15 hour days were almost the norm and at one company I worked 14 hour days for 11 months straight without a single day off. I was then threatened with the sack for refusing to open the store on Christmas day! Oh how I miss food retail! There were also many 24+ hour shifts so I never developed the habit of clock watching.

If you are wondering whether trading fulltime is for you and you are expecting “normal” working hours then choose your sport carefully. Pre race horse racing markets probably offer the best option of regular hours throughout the year. Football means you will be working evenings and every weekend so you will have to get inventive with your social life. Tennis is unlike any of the others. Your working hours are determined by the time zone in which that week’s matches are being played. That’s great when the tournaments are in Europe as the trading sessions starts at around 10am although of course you have a couple of hours’ research before that to get through. At the start of the year we have Auckland, Brisbane and the Australian Open etc so it’s full blown night shifts. Right now we are on the American swing of the year so the shifts are a bit odd. Matches start at around 4 to 5pm and go on to 3am(ish). I quite like this time of year but juggling family life and work is at its trickiest. I thought this would be a good time to give another insight into how I do that.

It’s around 1:30 am and my concentration is starting to waver. I have just finished with the Istomin v Rufin match. I had tipped Istomin to win as Rufin had only won a couple of main draw hard court matches in the last 2 years. As the first set wore on I just had a feeling Istomin was going to be broken so I laid him. Almost immediately Rufin broke. To cut a long story short Rufin went on to win in 3 sets. Along the way I had secured a sizeable free bet on him but was pissed off that it was my second SHARK TIPS loss of the day.

I was going to wait for the Fish match but the match that it follows has just gone to a third set. I halfheartedly open up the Lu market but I’ve had enough for today. I close down the PC and make the long commute along the landing to the bathroom and get ready for bed.

I am taking my wife to work at 7am. I’ll be glad when she starts her new job at the hospital which is just a 10 minute walk away! I wake up around 3am as my wife is shoving me in the back and uttering the standard, “Paul, lie on your side!”. I must have been snoring. I remember at least another 2 instances like this during the night. She will be in a bad mood when she gets up as she can’t function without a solid 10 hours. I’ll keep my head down when we get up and will try not to wind her up! “I was just trying to get 4 hours sleep before I get up to take you to work babe”. I might keep that to myself 😉

At 5:30 she gets up. I can hear her having a coughing fit in the kitchen. Sigh. I’m awake too. Bleary eyed I drag myself to the office and fire up the PC. I might as well start the selection process for the tips. Sue comes upstairs at around 6:45 to get dressed. Doesn’t look like I’m in trouble.

7:10 and its time to take her to work. Its a warm sunny morning. Where do all these bloody snails come from? All over the front door. Ooo just trod on one. Crunch.

7:35 and I’m back home after a detour to Tesco for supplies. The cats want feeding but they’ll have to wait. I want to get the subscriber emails sent out so I can have a few hours off before the tennis starts at 5pm.

The selection process is quite long winded but the first parts of it are just collecting stats and data so I eat my bowl of 3 Weetabix as I go through the day’s matches. What have they done to Weetabix? I haven’t had any for a while but it tastes more like Shredded Wheat now!

What on Earth are Betfair doing? I am having trouble determining which matches are today and which are tomorrow in New Haven. I check the tournament’s website for the schedule. Muppets! Betfair have Errani and Halep playing today but they are not playing until tomorrow.

Right I have a short list for the tips. Quite a few today. Most of the short listed picks usually win but I have a knack at the moment for picking the 1 or 2 that dont! I’ll start including all the short listed picks as long as the research doesn’t come up with a reason NOT to back them. Just wait and see. They’ll ALL bloody lose this time!

Its around 8:30 and my picks are just about done. I put together the famous (infamous?) Wins a Set List which is taken from my selection process and send off the emails to the 2 groups of subscribers.

A quick check on Twitter. A few more followers. I’m up to 1842 . people will follow any old rubbish on Twitter! It’s quite useful to remind people about the blog and the services. It amazes me how quickly people click links and almost before I have tweeted people start showing up on the blog stats. What’s new on there this morning? Sharapova wants to change her name to Sugarpova but just for the US Open. Really? Words fail me.

A quick check to see if there’s any cricket on this morning. England v Aus Womens ODI at 10:45. Maybe not. I have a really bad habit, especially when Sue is at work, of sitting at the PC from morning until night and a lot of the time I’m just there for the sake of it. I often try to find something to distract me that doesn’t involve staring at a screen. We are thinking of adopting a rescue dog and that could be ideal for dragging me away from my desk for walks.

The sun’s still shining so a coffee in the garden sounds like a great idea with the newspaper.

The next few hours are filled with trying to relax. I could do with a couple of hours sleep but as it’s the school holidays there are about a dozen kids of various ages in the street. Why did scooters become so popular all of a sudden? If our parents had bought us scooters at that age we’d have been embarrassed as it would have meant we couldn’t afford bikes! It wouldn’t be so bad if they just rode them around but they insist on doing these wanky jumps on them. The sound is very sharp and abrasive and certainly doesn’t make it easy to get to sleep. It goes quiet for a while and I am just starting to doze off on the sofa when the doorbell goes. “Good afternoon we’d like to speak with you about the joy of living with Jesus”. Having explained to them that if Jesus lived round here he wouldn’t be so bloody joyous they decided to try their luck next door.

Lunch time and I opt for some prawn pasta from the fridge and freshly ground coffee. Daytime TV isn’t very inspiring. Everyone looks fat on Judge Judy. Is that because they’re American or because it’s in wide screen? Jeremy Kyle really is a plank isn’t he? I never watch more than 5 minutes of his show as by that time he’s screaming in someone’s face.

It’s about 3pm and the first matches start at 5. I had better go and write the blog post and complete the research for the matches not covered for the tips service. So it’s back upstairs to the office.

Not surprisingly Sharapova isn’t going to change her name to Sugarpova. Huge shock. While I am doing the research for the remaining games and picking out a few for the blog I get an email from Caan. He has just written a guide about pre race horse trading and having read it a couple of weeks ago I am more than happy to recommend it. He has sent me a link to his sales page and I fire off a quick blog post and back it up with a plug on Twitter.

The trading picks blog post is taking ages as is the match research. My concentration isn’t too good today which is probably due to lack of sleep. I will have to bear this in mind when the trading session starts. I fire up the coffee machine that’s in the corner of the office. I’m going to need it!

By about 4:20 I’m up to date with everything. Blog post done. Research done. Notes ready next to my keyboard. I set my screens up. The 2 bigger screens will have 1 match per screen with scoreboard, stream and ladder. The third screen is for the Betfair tennis page, stats site and the members chatroom. I also have the Wins a Set spreadsheet on the left of the screen so I can check matches quickly. I won’t open the chatroom until just before the matches start. I wonder if there will be any “mibs” today? We use a mibbet chatroom [EDIT: we no longer use this chatroom!] that lets you accept the chatname that is suggests and they all start with “mib…”. It was getting to the stage where there would be 7 or 8 people in the room all called mib. You couldn’t tell who had said what or who you had spoken to so I decided to have a cull. They carry TB. Oh no, hang on…..that’s badgers. It isn’t difficult to type your own chatname in and then to say “hi” when you get in there. I’ll teach these buggers some manners if it kills me.

At around 4:50 I open the chat. Shortly after that a “mib” comes in. I don’t get chance to say anything before they run away and come back a few seconds later with a proper name. Quick learners these “mibs”.

There are a few in chat. None of the more vocal ones so it should be quiet for half an hour or so. I have tipped Kerber to beat Vesnina but with a higher entry than SP. That gets hit pretty quickly as Vesnina holds and breaks and I back Kerber. I’m not trading the Berankis match but have placed a small bet at the entry price as he is another of my tips. I am just monitoring the other matches on a scoreboard. I have the Monaco match on the other screen and have placed a small lay. Nothing too big as I want to concentrate on the Kerber match. What the hell is she doing??

Vesnina takes a 3-0 lead. Kerber is struggling on serve again. I don’t want to add to the back until I see something worth backing from her. Meanwhile Berankis has broken. At least that tip is going the right way. Monaco and Mahut and heading for a tie break. I’ll leave the lay as Mahut seems to be serving ok.

Kerber lost the set and I have laid Vesnina. Kerber has 3 break points in the very first game. About time! Sigh, she wasted all 3 and then Vesnina holds. I guess that means Kerber will get broken in the next game. No! Hold to 0! Maybe some hope. Mahut takes the tie break. Good man! I’ll hedge that as Monaco will probably come back in the second. Berankis has taken the first set.

Kerber breaks! About fooking time! Come on now. A hold gives us 3-1 and puts pressure on Vesnina. 0-15, 0-30, 0-40 ffs. Broken to 0. Kerber breaks in the next game. Hopes of a hold aren’t high. Broken back. She’s got no chance next week if she can’t find her serve.

Berankis takes the second set. Vesnina moves to 5-3 and serves for the match but is broken. Late comeback from Kerber? Of course not. She gets broken to lose the match.

I replace Monaco with the Fish v Nieminen match on the other screen and Tursunov v Goffin takes Kerber’s screen space. I don’t plan on getting involved in the Fish match until I have had a chance to see how he is playing. Even if he is on top form he can often start slowly and has to come back from going a break down.

Tursunov is another of my tips. I felt Goffin was a little lucky to get through yesterday when his opponent retired. In the early games Tursunov seems to be on top but as the match goes on Goffin is holding far too easily. Tursunov may be ready for a rest.

Tursunov isn’t serving well and it’s just a matter of time until he is broken. Goffin eventually takes the set. Another tip’s in trouble. It’s amazing how often being tipped by me turns a player’s game to crud. Either that or their opponent comes out in God mode. This one seems to be a bit of both. Goffin is facing very little pressure on serve. I don’t see how Tursunov is going to get a break here.

I have been concentrating too much on this match that I have done nothing on the Fish game. I open up the Zakopalova v Puig match. The Wins a Set list has Puig and as the listed player often starts well I will lay Zak a bit below SP. Zak puts pressure on in Puig’s first service game and I get a lower lay. She holds. I’m in a decent position there.

Tursunov still can’t get a break and isn’t holding his own serve easily at all. I’m not having much luck on the tips over the last few days.

Puig gets the break in the third game and I remove some of my liability to lower my break even price. A couple of holds each and then Puig is broken. I lay Zak again and Puig obliges with another break straight away. I hedge it and am glad about that as Puig gets broken in the next game. It’s like WTA!! I’ll leave that one now.

The time is now 7:50 and it’s time to collect Sue from work. She has had a long day too. This is where the juggling starts.

She is a Senior in a care home. She’s due to finish at 8 and I get there just before. Some days she won’t get out until 8:10 so I check the score of the Tursunov match on my phone. I open the bet365 app. They are still on serve and Tursunov is 6-5 ahead. He gets a break point. I am bouncing up and down in my seat chanting “double fault, double fault”. ACE. Twat. Another break point. Bounce, bounce, chant, chant. Saved. AAAAGHHH! There’s a dementia patient trying to escape through a fire exit. I probably should tell someone. I figure if he does make it out I’ll be able to catch him. I need to see if Tursunov breaks. Priorities! Another break point. TAKES IT!! Fist pumps all round. I turn my head to the right and realise there’s a guy in the car next to me and he has been watching the bouncing, chanting and fist pumps. I try to laugh it off but secretly feel like a knob.

Sue finally gets out at 8:10 and we head off home. She hasn’t had chance to get anything to eat so we grab some fish and chips on the way. Once we’re home I bring the laptop downstairs so that I can continue working but also spend time with Sue. If I took the purely professional approach of staying in the office I would hardly see her. From a trading point of view I can’t recommend this but from a marriage and family standpoint this is a compromise that I just have to work into my days.

Another downside is that I am now down to just the 1 screen so can only trade one match at a time. Tursunov is flying in the third set so another tip wins. Maybe I’m not jinxed.

I have missed the Verdasco lay which I am pissed off about. Smyczek has taken the first set.

Gimeno Traver is on the wins a set list so I lay Dolgopolov. Traver breaks and I green up. I am waiting for the Seppi v Johnson match and wasn’t really intending to trade Dolgo. Maybe I should have stuck with that one though as Dolgopolov broke back and then broke again. Traver broke back and went on to take the set. You have to love the List!

Another List trade is a lay on Seppi. There is no guarantee which set they will win ( or indeed that they will win a set a all ) but so often they start the match well. Johnson is putting pressure on most service games and gets the break for a 4-2 lead. That’s a massive move! I put all my green on him. Seppi breaks straight back and the match goes on to a tie break. Seppi is a double mini break up and can be laid at 1.17. Might as well. Johnson fights back and takes the tie break. Huge green!

The next match is Monfils. The list has Pella taking a set which I have to say I can’t see happening unless Monfils is injured. I’m sure I read somewhere that he had been advised not to play this week so it may be worth a small lay.

Sue is ready for bed so as she goes up I move back to the office. Tiredness is really biting now and probably more so as there isn’t much happening. Monfils is on after the Seppi/Johnson match which is going into a third set.

People have disappeared from the chatroom with just 1 or 2 left as everyone is waiting for the later matches.

Why are the streams from America always so bad? If you had to pick a country who would have the technology to provide decent streams then the USA would be up there. Yet they are most likely to lose the feed and for the stream to stick and even if its working often its a fixed camera that appears to be on the top of a large pole in the next state. You can just about see the ant-like players moving around the court but if you’re hoping to see the ball you will be disappointed.

Man I’m tired. I should go to bed. I’ve had a good day. I’ll give it a bit longer. I put my head on my arms on the desk and drop off to sleep. I dream that my leg fell off, panic and wake up suddenly and almost fall off my chair.

Finally Monfils is on court. Pella to serve. Double fault. Fault. Jeeeeesus that second serve barely made it half way up the net. 0-30. I lay. he comes back to hold and things look a little promising. after 2 more games Pella is broken and looks like a complete moron. Time for bed.

1:15am. That’s been a long day. Nite all.

Tennis Trading Course

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