Trading v Gambling

Over the past 12 months I have had a significant number of people asking me to provide punting tips.

I have never really been a gambler but on the rare occasions when  have it hasn’t gone well. I came to the conclusion that  I was the world’s unluckiest gambler. The big difference between betting and trading for me is the level of control. In betting once you have placed your bet you’re stuck with it, helpless to do anything if it proves to be a bad one. In trading you have options. At worst you can reduce your loss and can frequently turn a bad initial selection into a successful trade.

However if it was something that enough people wanted then I would give it a go and I started the service in January. If I was able to provide a worthwhile service then it would continue. If I couldn’t,then at least I had tried it.

So how did January go? Absolute nightmare! It started off ok but then hit a bad run. I had made 2 main errors. The first wouldn’t  be realised until February but the one that became obvious mid way through January was that stoplosses and tennis don’t mix. On a number of occasions the stoploss was triggered only for our player to come back to win.  If I was to use a stoploss I had to place it higher and higher to prevent it being triggered by a really bad first set. It was being placed so high as to make its benefits minimal. The stoploss was used less and then binned totally at the end of January.

The first half of January wasn’t made any easier by the fact that the players were still finding their form after the December break. Results for the rest of January were better but I had left way too much to do.

So as I had promised if the results were bad in January then February would be free to subscribers.

February now. No  stoploss now and the first week was ok. Then I hit some really bad luck. My picks would go 4-0 up  in the first set and then fail to win another game for the entire match. They would get within 1 or 2 ticks of the tradeout target price and then see how fast they could lose the match. Players who had played like world beaters up to that round suddenly crumbld under the pressure of being tipped by me.

Between the 7th and 16th of Feb I was 9.4 units down. The final straw was when I tipped Mello to trade at 1.40 against an out of form Bellucci. He had played well in the last match. Bellucci won the first set 6-0! Mello came back from apparent injury to take the second set 6-1 but he was battered in the third set.

I had had enough and didn’t want to continue a service that was delivering bad results. So I stopped it.

The trouble is with me ( yes I know you can pobably think of several ) is that I  don’t like to be beaten. By anything. My knowledge of the players should be good enough to give me an edge. It does with my trading. Also even though I had joked about my bad luck  (and so many of the games really did feel like very very bad luck ) I believe that you make your own luck.

So I continued with the picks on my own. Most were posted on the forum but I was convinced that no one in their right mind was still placing them.

It was then that  I realised my second mistake. I had said that for recording purposes that I would have 1 unit equal to £10. I told subscribers that they should set their own stake size but it became obvious that some had ignored that advice and were using £10. Because of this I was uncomfortable tipping more than 1 unit. In fact on one occasion I tipped 2.5units and was accused of chasing!  By setting the unit size at £10 I was taking away from myself the flexibility that you need. Somtimes value can be found at 1.40 but that would give such a poor return so I was looking for the big prices all the time. I was picking some players that on paper had a  good  chance but were too borderline. What had appeared to be bad luck was  in some instances down to asking too much of a player. Some of them WERE undoubtedly down to bad luck but when they were all added into the mix it felt like I was taking a kicking most days.

Up to and including the Bellucci/Mello match I was 7.5 units down. That has been turned around to a profit. How much depends on how tonight’s games go. Tipsarevic didn’t do me any favours!

I will post the results for February (up to the 25th) tomorrow and people can decide whether they are interested in continuing the service or not. I wouldn’t be posting reasons for the picks as before but simply providing the picks.

I have a much greater respect for anyone who can consistently make money gambling on tennis. It really is a world apart from trading!

    Trading Guide

2 thoughts on “Trading v Gambling”

  1. that was a good piece and I respect you for writing it. I have been a tennis fanatic all my life ever since my dad took me to watch ken rosewall et all playing exhibition tennis when there were only amateur players. I have also been gambling all my life, mostly on slow horses. I have come to the conclusion that you can make money from some sports but tennis is probably not one of them. The reason I put this down to is that apart from the obvious top 5 in the world the standard of tennis amongst the other 2000 guys trying to make a buck out of the game has contracted enormously. in my humble opinion any player in the top 200 is well capable of beating another player in the top 200 on his day. this makes form difficult to judge and impossible to bet on. I have enormous respect for those guys out there on the tour scrapping 48 weeks a year to get points. their fitness and talent amazes me. if I could live my life again I would want to be born leander paes – in my book the best example of a modern player. but would I bet on him – I don’t know. I hope you prove me wrong in the future. kind regards, Tony Gilbert.

  2. With hindsight you should have left January alone due to the reasons you mentioned. Never give up mate!

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