Saturday, 27 June 2015

Let's set the clock to 0...

The last weeks I made almost sixty trades and ended with a profit of over 150 Euro. You see these numbers below.

In the beginning I traded with higher stakes and slighty different strategies. Today I finished the tennis guide, version 3.0. It will be the base for Wimbledon and the upcoming tournaments.

To make the trades comparable, I have to set the clock to 0. If I would continue with the KPI on the left side, I would compare apples with pears. That would give a wrong picture to analyze my trades.

Like I wrote in the past, the strike rate will probably be worse in the future. On the other hand the ratio between the average profit and the average loss will be better. Right now I have one of 0.42 (22.34 / 52.37). This means that I have a lot pressure to generate much more winners than losers.

It's difficult to forecast the future ratio, but it should be near 1.00 or even above. If you are capable to reach a ratio of 1.00 and a strike rate over 50%, you make profit. The nice thing with trading tennis is the fact, that you can scale up your stakes without any problems (when you trade consistent profitable).

Yesterday and today I managed to make profits thanks to Sam Querrey. Yesterday he was one set and one break down against Dolgopolov and today the same happened against Istomin. Today the trade was not looking good, when the Uzbek served at 7:6 and 5:2 (later again at 7:6 and 5:4) for the match. Fortunately he struggled with his nerves and couldn't finish the encounter until the tiebreak. Like Bencic (against Radwanska) he won today his maiden title on the main tour. The profit of Querrey and the small loss with Bencic (I expected a similar scenario like with Istomin) showed that the ratio changed. While I won with Querrey 45 Euro, I lost with Bencic only 19 Euro. Of course it needs a lot more matches to have a big enough sample, but I have the assumption (and this is equal to my target) that the ratio will be in the future over 1.00, on the other hand the strike has to be at least 50%.

The biggest loss should not exceed 100 Euro. If it happens, it's a lack of discipline. This is also a reason to set the clock to 0. In the future these big losses are not allowed anymore! If this happens again, I have to stop with trading... without patience and discipline, you will never be a successful trader.

So, I look forward to an interesting tournament at Wimbledon. Hopefully the next week (the second week I will miss, because of holidays) will confirm my progress.

Friday, 26 June 2015

Cutting losses and running profits

Wimbledon is straight in front of the door. Today was quite obvious that the players focus on this main event. In four half finals we saw two withdrawals. Baghdatas retired after a 2:1 lead against Istomin, Wozniacki (0:3) also played just three games against Bencic. Beside Makarova not even started her double match.

The played half finals (Dolgopolov vs. Querrey and Radwanska vs. Stephens) brought some roller coaster charts. The women's match didn't take my attention. Aga won the first set and was the most time in control of the match. I didn't like to bet against her (despite some value was on Stephens), because she is the more consistent player of them. Dolgoplov can beat on his day almost every player on the tour. On the other hand he also can lose against everybody, when he is not in the mood. I don't trust him that much (despite he brought me a good profit against Andujar this week), so I layed him when he was a set and break up (6:4, 1:0) against Querrey. The trade was matched at 1.08. The big US guy fought back and won the match an hour later with 4:6, 6:3, 7:5.

I could manage a big profit (over 1000%!), when I would have the balls to stay with Querrey. What did I do? I made "just" 100%... Here starts the topic about profit taking again. A rule says to let the winners run. Unfortunately you don't know in advance, which trades are the winners. To be honest, I think is a lot easier to cut the losses than let run the profits. I found an interesting article about this topic:

Trailing stop losses is an interesting instsrument of the stock exchanges. I think it works slightly different at sport markets, because they are more volatile and have an end. There are very big moves when a break is in sight. Nevertheless I like this idea. Often a player which made a break and confirmed it, gained the momentum. So it would be pity to hedge too early. It takes time until a 1.08 lay brings the big money. Normally it needs a second break (turn a deficit with a break in a lead with a break).

Probably I was a bit too cautious with Querrey today, because I lost this week some free bets. I recognized that you need also with greening an idea before the match. During the trade it's very difficult to control the emotions. Most people tend to go for the save profit. In the long term is probably not the best option, because you don't consider the value concept.

As a learning I defined four scenarios (before the match starts):

  • No more greening (a bit of risk I reduce already at breakpoints... It's a kind of tick scalping)
  • Take out 1/2 of the stake
  • Back the leader (all the profit on the player I layed before)
  • Split the profit

The first point is a personal preference. I know that a lot of traders are waiting until the break is confirmed. Often the server rises his level, when he is 0:30 down or has breakballs against him. So I prefer to hedge some green when a break is in sight. Especially three missed breakpoints in a row kill you. I prefer to take a part of the profit than playing like in the casino. In my opinion the risk-/reward-ratio is fine with my approch, because I can work with green books and compound the profits. If a 0:40 turns in a red book, you often lose this trade. When I feel confident that this lay can go the whole distance, I will not hedge anymore. If it turns against you, you can close the trade later with a break even result.

Take out 1/2 of the stake brings you in an all green position which gives you a small profit, when the initial layed player wins the match. Back the leader means that you are going with the strong favourite, which is still ahead with one set. Split the profit is the best way, when you have no idea in which way the trade will go. With this scneario you can make a decent profit (like me today), but you will never make a fortune...

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Last preparations for Wimbledon

Last two days I invested a lot of time to find ways to be better prepared for a trading day. I developped a spreadsheet, which helps me to forecast the matches. Beside it's a great support to control the emotions during a trading session. Now I know in advance, when I enter or exit a market. Only in rare occacions - when my game reading tell it - I will change my initial idea.

Beside I made a final decision to lower my stakes. I already had this idea before, but I didn't change it yet. This adjustment gives me more opportunities to enter and re-enter markets. Without this step, I don't have room for maneuvers after the first (lost) trade. Often a second opportunity is coming during a tennis match. When you already shot the whole powder before, there is no more possibility to turn a bad trade in a good one.

I am well prepared for Wimbledon. The main draw of the tennis highlight of the year will start next Monday. The only part which will be strange for me is the "best of five rule". The last weeks (except Roland Garros which I didn't rade) the players only had to win two sets for a win. Fortunately the women - which I definitely prefer to trade on grass - play also at Wimbledon "best of three". Unfortunately I have to work on Monday (and will be the second week of the tournament in holidays), but I am sure that this big event will show if I am on the right track.

Tomorrow the half finals of the tournaments at Nottingham (ATP) and Eastbourne (WTA) will take place. Especially I am excited about the match between Belinda Bencic and Caroline Wozniacki. So far the Swiss played a super tournament, but Caro is another number than the opponents before. If the 18 year old can win this match, this would be the biggest success in her career. What I saw so far, this is not impossible. Nevertheless my favourite to win this tournament is Radwanska. In her last two matches she lost just seven games (against Pliskova and Pironkova which are definitely no mugs!) Would be delighting to see a final between Belinda and Aga...

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Lay 960 busted!!

What a match beween Gilles Simon and Marcel Granollers. With the own serve the Spanish player was 6:4, 5:4 and 40:0 ahead. At this moment Simon was trading at 960, and somebody traded a lay for 50 Euro. This person took a risk of 48'000 Euro to win just 50 bucks. I never would do this, tennis is just too inpredictable. On the other hand I am waiting for the moments to find these kind of back opportunities... Well I would not do it with my own money, but with green books. Unfortunately I didn't see a good moment to enter this match. Nevertheless I hope the days will come, where I can go for these big wins. You only need one or two of them (even with greening) to have a superb year. This is one of  the principle of the strategies. With the (big) profits you should make the difference. The small reds and greens should offset.

Simon vs. Granollers (23.06.2015)
My trading day was an up and down. I started with a mistake which cost me 48 Euro. Afterwards I had bad luck that my free bet on Ferrer didn't work. The same problem i had later with Safarova. Instead of a decent three digits profit (when Lucie would take one of her felt 100 break chances), it ends with 10 Euro. The worst loss (almost 100 Euro) resulted from the match between Madison Keys and Belinda Bencic. Nothing to blame, it was bad variance. I never saw Bencic so strong at WTA level. She served amazing and the length of the ground strokes was just fantastic. In the end she won 6:2, 6:2 against a player, which she lost a month ago at French Open 0:6, 3:6! The biggest profit (something over 100 Euro) I made with the first set comeback of Dolgopolov.

Overall it was a good day. I was prepared and knew what I like to do. Mostly my ideas worked. It would be a decent profit with a better variance. Ferrer and Lucie both lost as favourites in two sets, that is not often the case. In the end of the day I was exhausted and missed the one or other opportunity.

Beside I could make a clarification about the entry levels. You have to decide if you enter during a game or just when its finished. I decided to make two rules. There are big players (like Djokovic, Federer or Williams), where it can make sense to back them at a crucial score (for example 4:5, 0:30). They have the mentality and skills to fight back. If you don't take these opportunities, they will often not come again... On the other hand in more balanced matchups these entries normally doesn't make sense.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Preparation is the key for successful trading!

At the weekend I read once again the strategy guide of Sultan. With my improved knowledge, I had something like an Eureka moment. There are really good parts for advanced traders which I didn't consider in the past. I appreciate the work of Sultan, I was just not happy with his teaching. I think it's really difficult to learn trading with a mentor without having real time sessions and direct feedback of the trades. Well, it's no time (anymore) to blame any people about my past. I learned the lesson that you can't take a shortcut. Nobody sells a holy grail or is willing to help you for free. I would not do it neither, to be honest. :-) In the end all the traders are in a competition. I know now that you have to find your own way. It's a long and tough one, and only the best traders will survive. I hope to be one day one of them.

In the strategy document of Sultan you find good hints about entry levels. In the past I just entered more or less blind after a break or a lost set. Beside I recognized that the preparation in advance is crucial. You need an idea BEFORE the match, what you will do in different scenarios.

I decided to segment the matches before they start in different categories. There are matchups with big hitters, which are normally not good to trade. Beside you find encounters with a strong underdog, which can be an interesting opportunity. Last but not least, you can find typical swing games. Normally this is the case, when is very difficult to pick a winner.

Of course the above mentioned stuff is not rocket science. It's just for me to be better prepared and not lose the control during the trading sessions. Most of the time the first idea (which you have before the match starts) is the right one. During play time is more difficult to think clear. Fear and greed are taking away the focus.

Thanks to all readers! How I recognized, the number of interested people is rising. That shows me that I am also with the blog in the right path...

Saturday, 20 June 2015

I lost the focus...

The trading week ended with a disappointment. After a bad Friday, I lost the focus. It's a common thing and is called revenge trading. You like to win the money back that you lost before, and you are not patient enough. It happened today. The trades were against my gut feeling. I was definitely not in the trading zone. I saw a one sided match between two German ladies (Lisicki and Kerber). Instead of trusting my gut feeling and my tennis knowledge I went against Kerber... Probabaly I would not do this at another day. But 1/2 final days don't have much action. There are only a few matches, you often see not interesting service battles (like Federer against Karlovic).

Yesterday I read an interesting link about trading (it's in German): There is a theory which says that there are three components to be a successful trader: strategy (10%), money management (30%) and psychology (60%). Well, 60% is probably a bit too high, but the control of the emotions is definitely the most important part. You need to handle bad days and start refocused after a night.

Nevertheless I made a minor strategy update. Nothing big, but I recognized that the redding strategy of Sultan (take out 1/2 of the stake at 0:30 and breakpoints) makes sense. When one player is tanking or injured (today the opponent of Seppi was again injured!), it doesn't help much to know where the price should be under normal circumstances. In this kind of scenario the market panics, and you have to protect your bank. With this small adjustment I can go back to the old stakes...

Despite the last two days were disappointing I feel on the right way. Trading is not a one way street and losses are part of the game. For the whole week I am still in profit.

Friday, 19 June 2015

A backfall in old days...

Until the last trade, the day was okay. Then came Gael Monfils, he is always a grab bag. You never know what you can expect. I saw him playing the last days, he often slipped away. Gras is definitely not his prefered surface. Yesterday I thought that this playstyle can end in an injury. Today it happened and I was not aware this time...

I was not concentrated enough and didn't see that he slipped again away. This time he hurted himself. Nevertheless I backed him at 0:4. This entry often has a lot value, but this time the odd was crashing. Monfils was barely moving, and the market paniced (and was right). So my loss after the first set was bigger than expected. I hoped that the french man give up (so the bet would be void), but he started the second set. I made the mistake not to take the loss before. So I lost more than the money management allows...

I wrote in the last days that the results were looking better than my trading is. Today it was the proof that I am not there where I like to be. The discipline is still not the best (in other case I would close the bad Monfils trade before) and the killer instinct is missing. Instead of making a big profit at the match between Halep and Mladenovic (I expected a tight fight), I lost money because of backing the Romanian in the wrong moment.

Nevertheless is not everything bad. I am still in profit over the whole week and the system seems to work overall. Since the start of this blog I have a plus of exactly 250 Euros. In the long term the Monfils game hopefully was just a small accident...

One lesson I learend today (again). The stakes should be lower until the moment you feel 100% confident. Some people even advice to trade in the beginning with paper money. Well, that can work for the one or other, but I think the most important part (psychology) you can't learn with this approach. As a measure I will halve my stakes. It will help to strenghten my discpline, I am quite sure. It's easier to close a trade with 50 Euro loss than one with 100 Euro... The money management stays the same (not more than 1% loss per trade), but the single position will be smaller. This change should give me more opportunities (for example a re-entry) during a trade.

Major strategy update

Yesterday or let's better say today, I went to bed very late. I watched the soccer game between Brazil and Colombia (Copa America). I just woke up before the action began at the tennis courts. Definitely it was not the best preparation for a trading day... I felt tired, without energy and not really in the mood for the ladders.

Nevertheless I started to watch some tennis games and (like often) I missed too many opportunities. When I was really awake, I traded the match between Kiki Mladenovic (she is often good to trade) against Barbora Strycova. Despite a too early entry, I could manage a small profit. Unfortunately the second set was very one sided, so 50% of the money went away.

During this session I recognized that my entry levels are still not ideal. The difference between a break and a confirmed break can be huge (especially at WTA). So I decided to split the stake in two positions. The advantage is an averaged price.

I made a major update of the strategies today. My trust rised with these adjustments. There is only one open issue, it's about profit taking. I am not sure yet if I already found the right mix between reducing the risk and let the profit run. Like I wrote in the last posting, it's also a personal preference. A quick profit taking brings a better hit-rate and a smoother bank development, but you will make less three or even four digit profits. The future will tell what's the best mix. If I recognize that the approach is too conservative, I can change it again. Right now I am quite happy about todays improvements. A big topic (the entry in a trade) is solved.

Tomorrow I like to go back to the ladders. I will sleep more and will have hopefully a better energy level for a busy trading day. Good night!

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Another green day...

A busy day - with some rain breaks - ended with a profit of 50 Euros. One game is still to go (Pliskova vs. Konta) and will add another six Euros to the bank. The result is looking better than my trading was. I was in some critical situation which shouldn't happen. I already spoke about this topic in the last days, so I don't want to repeat my problems in all the details.

In general you see it at the image on the right side. With my hit rate (82%) I am really happy. Of course I can't compare it with the 40% of Sultan, he has another approach. I only can speak about my strategies. To be successful everything over 75% is fine. The main problem is the average profit. It should be on the same level like the average loss. Unfortunately I couldn't compound my green books. In these kind of situations I was often too careful. I didn't take use of the leverage. When you lay a 1.05 odd it doesn't need much money to win a fortune. Despite one trade with Rafael Nadal, I never managed to win more than 1% of the bank. On the other hand I risk up to 1% per trade. Overall I have to consider that there is a problem with the reinvestments.

Beside I made some small adjustments at the money management. I decided to halve the stake in the later stages of a set.

Tonight there is one more trade (Copa America: Brazil vs. Colombia). Beside tennis I do some small soccer bets. They are not part of the profit&loss statement I publish here. They should give some extra money for my tennis strategies. I am quite sure that the system I developped with a friend together is quite profitable. Unfortunately you don't have much suitable matches. You need teams with high scoring quality and a low 0:0 odd at the correct score market.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

The five stages of betfair trading

Yesterday I just made one trade, today was full of action. I was again not 100% happy with my trading, nevertheless I closed the day with a good profit.

There are five stages of Betfair Trading: I am confident that I reached step four. Perhaps I am already near to step five. At the moment I normally have a profit at the end of the day, but the trading is not really smooth. Sometimes I take too much risk, often I am too slow or unsecure. It's still a fight like Carlos Berlocq on the tennis court and not the magic of a Roger Federer. How we all know, Carlitos can win tournaments, but these are rare moments. He fights and makes his income, but all the professionals like to be grand slam winners or at least part of the top10 in the world ranking.

That's the same in my case... I am (hopefully) not a loser anymore, but I am far away to be a Top10 tennnis trader. How far I can go the future will tell. Probably I have not the talent of a Federer, but with hard work you can reach big things (like Wawrinka).

First time since I started with trading, the strategies seem quite stable. I feel comfortable with all aspects like risk-/reward-ratio, exit-points or entries. Perhaps there are small issues with the reinvestment of the profits and the handling with lost offplay trades. I have the feeling that I could take more risks with profits and less with "red books".

Scalping tennis markets

Unfortunately I couldn't trade (much) today. I had to go to the office for a conference call, which didn't take place... (pretty boring, when you are officially in holidays). In the evening I had my weekly badminton session. When I arrived home, there was only one match left: Grigor Dimitrov against Sam Querrey.

After two sets the match was interrupted because daylight was gone. I could create a green book (see on the left side), but I am not 100% happy with the trade. After Dimitrov lost the first set I entered the market (strategy: back the favourite offplay for 2-3 Ticks), but I couldn't enter as quick as I wanted. The risk-/reward-ratio was not good at this moment anymore. If Grigor would lose his serve, I would be in big troubles. What should I do better? When you scalp the markets, you have to be quick. I was too slow with the entry and lost 1-2 Ticks. So I had to risk an inplay bet in a volatile environment.

To go straight on the favourite for odds somewhere over 2.00 is not a good in my opinion. The value is slim, but often even negative. After a break of Querrey the opportunity would be better. His lowest odd was 1.07, when he had a breakpoint for a 4:1-lead. Often a better opportunity comes, you just need to be patient. Scalping after a lost (first) set of the favourite is not a bad strategy, but the timing is very crucial.

Tomorrow is another day. Let's see which opportunities will come...

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Sunday trading

Actually I was watching the final at s'Hertogenbosch between Camila Giorgi and Belinda Bencic. The match didn't give much trading opportunities (only two late breaks), so I switched to Agnieszka Radwanska against Monica Niculescu.

I was able to make a good profit (around 50 Euros) in the second set when the Pole reduced the break deficit and was looking like the secure winner. In the end she lost the second set, and I was quite sure she will fight back in the third set. I was wrong, Niculescu played a really strong match and swept Radwanska in the last set away (6:0!). Unfortunately also a big part of my profit went away...

I made some small adjustments in the strategy. Considering Dan Weston, a tennis analyst and trader, there is a huge chance that a player will have a chance for a rebreak, but only a part is converted:

To generate a green book, which you can use afterwards for a riskfree reinvestiment, it's important to take profit. I decided to green a bit (take out 1/2 of the stake) at the following scores: 0:30, 0:40, 15:40, 40:A.

After Radwanska also David Goffin had a very disappointing last set against grass specialist Nicolas Mahut. He lost 6:7 and 1:6. It cost me 60 Euros. So far it's the biggest single loss, but it's still in the framework of the money management. Trading is no one way street, so you have to accept losses from time to time and stay calm. In earlier days i started the "chasing mode" and that was the beginning of the end. After a loss you have to wait for the next real opportunity. I am sure it will come, next week bigger tournaments at Halle and Queens take place. I look forward to more interesting trading opportunities...

Friday, 12 June 2015

A bad start is not helpful...

I don't like to blame players, but Coco Vandeweghe was the reason that I had a difficult day. She was the defending champion at Hertogenbosch (and is a decent grass player in general), but today was not her day. On the other side the local Kiki Bertens played something like the match of her life. Before this tournament she only won one game on a grass court... the only funny for me were the names of the players: Coco and Kiki... sound more like a movie for adults. :-)

After a bad start (Coco lost 4:6, 1:6), I was not in the mood to take enough risk. It's everywhere the same, without taking risk you win nothing. Overall I had to recognize that my approach is a bit to risk averse. I like to enter when there is not much downside potential anymore (for example when one player is leading 4:1). Nothing against that, but you don't find many opportunities when you are afraid to lose 15 ticks. So I decided to rise the stop loss from ten to 15 ticks.

The other critical topic is the exit. Often one point is missing for the break. It's quite frustrating, when you have a decent profit (thanks one or more chances for a break) which turns in a loss when the breakballs are not converted. After all I decided to keep it simple. Sometimes they are converted and sometimes not... overall a good game of the receiver helps to strenghten the odd. So I will always wait for the break, despite missed break chances can bring a (small) loss instead of a profit of 20-30 ticks.

With the recovery of the day I was happy. Cilic, Nadal and Goffin all lost one set. It's always a good scenario when the favourite goes behind. Normally the market keeps the confidence, and you can make some profit without taking much risk. Unfortunately I trusted Kohlschreiber too much and went for a free bet. Monfils doesn't like grass, and the German played in front of the home crowd. Well it shows once again, that betting on a player (only trust the gut feeling) is normally not the best way to make money. You always have to trade the market and not the player! It's all about value and risk-/reward-ratio. Kohli around 1.80 (at 1:1-score after two sets) was no real value...

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Successful day

How you can see on the left side, I had a successful day. On the first view everything is looking bright. There was no losing trade, beside one very good one (Nadal vs. Baghdatis).

On the second view I still made too much mistakes and missed good opportunities. At two games (Seppi and Bertens) I was lucky not to lose. Actually I took too much risk after a losing first set. I kept the stake despite the volatility rised at the start of the 2nd set. It's still hard for me to close a trade with a small loss of five to ten ticks (around 20-30 Euros). It's a psychological thing to accept a downfall of the bank. A strong start - like I had today - will help to improve this topic. It's easier to risk profit than (hard) earned money...

Beside I hesitated too much with reinvestments. There was a great opportunitely to lay Nadal a set and break up at 1.04. With 20 Euros (of 180 Euros profit) I could lay Rafa for 500 Euros profit. After he lost the 2nd set, he was trading at 1.57. This would be nice extra money with small risk. Despite watching the game between Sachia Vickery and Zarina Diyas I didn't enter. What a great fight of Vickery after trailing 0:5 in the first set. A much better trading chart (the game is not finished yet...) you can't find...

Sachia Vickery vs. Zarina Diyas

Tennis trading needs experience

Tennis is a psychological game. Govortsova (against Niculescu) and Linette (against Davis) both spoiled big leads. Both were traded at 1.01 and lost! When the rot begins, then it's really difficult to gain the momentum back. Especially at WTA tennis you often see these kind of matches.

Unfortunately trading is a pschological game too. In theory is easy to catch the above mentionned matches. In reality it needs balls to enter and hold the green a while. Today I was not able to make profits. Actually I didn't make a trade! I hesitated too long, and in the morning Betfair was out of order.

In general it was a disappointing day, where I missed a lot of opportunities to make money. The winner mentality is not here yet. Only good experiences can bring it. Tomorrow is another day to learn, become better and successful...

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

It's getting interesting!

It took some time since the last post. First I was in holiday and afterwards I was quiet busy to finalize the strategies. With small amounts they are working excellent. Lately I barely lost a trade. Of course it's easier with small stakes, because there is no fear to lose. To be successful you need exactly the same feeling with big stakes! It's really difficult to suppress the emotions while trading... For this reason you need clear rules. Especially the money management is important, you need to know what is the worst case.

Everything is defined now. After the decision to enter in a market, I will trade like a robot. There are clear rules for profit taking, reentering and stop losses. In general it's a save (lay) approach. You have to enter when the volatility is low and the the risk/reward-ratio is attractive.

Today I transfered 10k Euros to my account. So it's getting interesting now. The risk per trade will not outreach 1% of the bank (100 Euro). Even with this amount is possible to make good profits. Today Bouchard was trading at 1.01 and lost in the end. It's no real rarity that an odd under 1.10 loses at tennis markets. The leverage is an important part you have to consider at tennis trading.

I will keep my trading record at this page. This week I will start with the rised stakes. I am curious about the progress, I hope you too!