“Which strategy do you use most?”

This is one of the questions I get asked the most and its one that is hard to answer. Why do people ask this?  Looking around forums and the chatroom its clear that people are trying to find a simple way to trade. One that works in every game. I can understand why newer traders think that is possible but I get the query from guys who have traded for a while too.

The truth is that it is very rare that a single strategy would be used over and over in the same match. Even backing the server. There aren’t many players who I would use this strat and even then you need to check that they are on top form. As an example I’d normally include players like Roddick and Raonic but they seem to have a few issues at the moment.

There really are very few shortcuts. No one can teach you experience. They can give you the benefit of their own experiences but that is no replacement for getting it first hand.

As in a lot of areas in our microwave, fast food, flat-pack culture far too many people want maximum gain from minimum effort. In trading terms they want a simple strategy that gets them a great return every time. In persuit of this ridiculous goal they try to force “square pegs into round holes” and having learnt a strategy they proceed to use it on every match. Not surprisingly they soon fail.

So what happens next? Well that depends on the individual. Some will just give up. Some will start telling everyone that the strategies don’t work. Some even go on a mini crusade to prove that I am some sort of scam artist ( bless them ). A small proportion ( those more likely to succeed ) actually ask for help.

So if you see someone in a chatroom or forum or blog saying that established strategies don’t work what they are really saying is perhaps, ” I can’t make them work as I can’t be bothered to work out the best games to use it on”, or maybe, “I’m too stupid to trade tennis”, or, “I want to make money but I’d rather not put any effort in”.

The strategies are all very simple. Where experience is essential is in matching the strategy to the game situation. Any match will go through phases where momentum shifts between the players. Even in a one sided match there will be very short periods where there is a momentum shift. As you experience more and more games and markets you will learn to spot where the changes may happen. For example, a simple one that most know about is in a match where both players have a realistic chance of winning. Laying the first set winner will often bring about a chance of profit if you don’t get too greedy. So much effort goes into getting that first set that the winner will relax a little in the early couple of games of the second set.

So forget the holy grail strategy and put the effort into learning the markets and how they move in relation to the match. Joining a community such as ours can help you to spot the patterns. If you limit yourself to just one strategy then you are reducing the number of games you can trade.

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A day in the life………..

I don’t know how today’s going to go but I’ll add to this as it unfolds….

My day starts at 6:45 when Sue brings me a coffee in bed. She’s been up since 5ish to get ready for work. God knows what takes so long! I have offered to take her to work.  We leave 10 minutes later with the coffee only partially drunk and I drop her off at her job as a care worker for the elderly. I call in at Tesco’s on the way home for supplies. Cheese and Onion rolls and a Bakewell tart. Mmm breakfast! Ha ha not really but the Bakewell is unlikely to last much beyond the writing of the day’s blog post.

Having fed the 7 cats and emptied the dishwasher I go upstairs with a fresh coffee and sit down at my desk. Its about 7:45.

I open the chatroom. A quick check of an ip address shows me that Mike has changed his name to Colonel-Gadaffi. This could be a long day. I really shouldn’t go into chat before I have done the blog post, checked the forum, blog stats, geeks forum etc etc.  As its early theres only 8 people in there and one of those is TennisBot! I’ll wait until Mike stops talking and disappear. Hosting a chatroom is a little like being on stage. As soon as I go in there people are firing questions or PM’s. When the room gets busier as the games start we can have upto 40 people so there are plenty experienced traders to answer some  questions.  Christ the Colonel is still going on about something. I had better reply……..

I go through my emails. Not many as I checked them before bed last night. A couple of Guide sales so I send off their information. One about a live trading session. Hmm I need to get those organised.

Damn I didn’t shut the chat. He’s still going ( only joking Mike! ). Have to be careful I don’t type this stuff in the chat window! England start their Cricket World Cup campaign today but as its against Holland I don’t think I’ll bother with it. I fire up the Geeks Toy to check the prices. 1.03, I don’t think I’ll bother! (edit, I should have as Holland batted very well and I think were as high as 1.35 )

I set my 3 screens up for the days trading. Centre screen is for the main trade with scoreboard, live pics where available and the Toy. Left hand screen is for the betfair tennis page, tennis insight and the betfair main website. I also have the chat window on there. The right hand screen is for anything else. Surfing for info, the forum/blog and its used for a second ladder and scoreboard if there is another game going on at the same time.

Its now 8:20. No games until 10am so lets get the blog posts out of the way early. I sometimes find the blog posts a bit of a chore but when I look at the visitor stats it encourages me to post.

Picking the games to put on the blog can be difficult. I want to try to give people a chance of some decent profit so the odds are important. I also need a game that I think I can predict. Not easy! Davydenko up first at 10. Surely he beats Garcia-Lopez. I’ll trade that but as most of my readers are at work I’ll try to find suitable evening games. Anyone around during the day should come into the chatroom  where tips are available all day long.

Some juicy prices on the WTA games. I’m getting pretty good at trading the womens matches but can rarely predict them beforehand which is why I don’t often put them on the blog. I’ll leave the WTA prediction to Smurf on the forum.

Ooo Youzhny v Simon. Rematch!! Thats definately one of the blog games. We’re spoilt for choice tonight. Del potro at 1.30…….needs to be a bit higher. Starace v Cuevas on clay. Almagro v Hanescu. Probably M Gonzalez v Fognini at 11pm for the other match. 1.82 on Fognini’s a good place to start.

I’ll have a quick look  at the geeks toy forum before I start the research for the blog games. Plenty of posts but nothing jumping out at me that needs reading. Should I check the Racing Traders forum? Nah.

OK its 8:35. Blog time!

9:20. The blog’s done. Went for Starace in the second game. Decent price for the straight setter that I expect.

Time for another coffee before the games start. The Bakewell is nearly gone!

First game is Davy v G-L.  Davy used to be one of the best returners in the game so lets give him a chance to break first game. He break to 30! 15% green to start the day. I didn’t trust him to hold after his Simon match so take the green and run. Ofcourse he held easily and is ahead in the next game. Will move to another game….

Kohlschreiber has just broken Troicki. The market is bouncing all over and I try to get matched with a back at 1.72. Only partially matched but after he holds I now have a free bet on Kohlschreiber. They all add up ;-). I only have a scoreboard but the German looks to be running away with the first set. 5-1 now. Kohl takes the set 6-1 and Troicki’s stats are very poor. I back Kohl at 1.45 and get out when he has break point. Another 11%. A good opening 45 minutes!

We get a very good mix of experience in the chatroom. As its open to everyone we get the occasional idiot and I have had to ban 2 or 3 but overall it works pretty well ( thats the feedback I get anyway ). Obviously you get a few who come in asking for opinions on a particular game and when they get it they leave. Not really playing by the rules or rather not sticking to the spirit of the room but it all creates interest and it really doesn’t bother me as long as they’re respectful.  Most of the regular users know what I expect as far as “room etiquette” goes and most make an effort to contribute which is much better than the same old voices being heard all the time.

Hmm the next few games aren’t too exciting. Baggy too low to back at 1.17 but not sure Golubev can trouble him much. Looks like Lopez v Lu is the pick. Lu has been dire lately. Haha not often you see Stakhovsky at 1.02 before a match. Who’s he playing? The ballboy?

Lu gets broken first game. 15% . In and out. Stress free. Can I get through the day without a red? Haha I very much doubt it. Looks like a WTA match next!

Hmm Lopez goes 3-0 up. If I had stayed in Lu would have broken back for sure!

Checked my emails again. Still waiting for a reply from the restaurant that I took the wife to on Sunday ( for Valentines ). As it was a special menu etc they took £70 up front when I booked which was fair enough. When we turned up the restaurant was closed and we were seated in the bar’s meal room. TV on the wall and everything! Wasn’t impressed. When I got the bill it was £58. 12 quid less than I had already paid! It turned out their website was incorrect and said the Valentine menu was for Sunday the 12th and Monday the 14th. I’m good at complaining so will be getting a free meal out of it 😉 (if they ever get back to me)

Lu retires at 0-5. Twat! Bets void.

11:55. Time for the cheese and onion rolls I think. Next games at 12:30.

Baghdatis retired now! Was 0-4 down. Something in the water?

Peer v Kuznetsova next. Layed Kuz after a couple of games as the market seemed biased towards Peer. That worked as she broke serve. They then traded breaks but Peer held on to take the set. I greened out and added a little extra by backing Peer in the second. Peer pressured serve but didn’t break but I am out and greened. 27%ish there. Very jumpy market. Am glad to be out of that one!

13:40 – Granollers has taken the first set v Tursunov 6-1. Tempted to lay the Spaniard but Tursunov’s stats from the first set look terrible. That doesn’t always mean a great deal but I think I’ll leave that one.

14:05 – Martinez-Sanchez v Dushevina. Backed M-S at the start. Greened up when she had break point in the 3rd game. She didn’t break so I didn’t miss out there. Added a little green in the 5th game when the market over reacted to a point from M-S against serve. I layed her and got out after the hold. Around 15% from that game. Will have a look at Azarenka as its on Eurosport. Tired of the scoreboards!

Azarenka v Hantuchova: Hard to pick between those 2. Good one minute and bad the next. Decided to leave it with an 11% loss.

Next games at 4. Lets have a go with Nishikori. Dabul not troubling anyone lately. Backed prematch at 1.52. Someone put a lay in at 1.67 so I took it 😉

Nishikori was almost broken in the 5th game but held on. As often happens the underdog can be thinking about missing his chance and lose concentration on his own service game. Nishikori breaks for a 39% green.  See you can rely on the men a little more than the women!

Its now 4:35 and I am thinking of ending the session. Hmm the clay courters start at 5 as does Youzhny v Simon. Maybe a little more. I have arranged a short one to one with a member who has been struggling. Thats at 8 so I really should take a break.

As much as I want to continue I really need a break, especially with the one to one later. The Youzhny match looks good but you have to know when to stop.

Not a bad session. Didn’t manage to go through the day without a red but its rare I manage that.

Hope you find this of some interest. If not I have wasted a lot of my day!

Time for some food and TV. Oh yes and chat with the family 😉

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