It has been a difficult month for me health-wise as most of you know given that I probably haven`t shut up about it! But what has cheered me up is the camaraderie of the members who have clubbed together to buy me a zimmer frame. No, seriously, the chaps in the chatroom should all take a bow for their contributions this month.

Post Xmas has seen an influx of new members, particularly from outside the UK. It has been especially pleasing to welcome back older members too. One such, OccamRazor, and I go back quite a few years. I don`t casually award this month`s Top Trader prize to him out of some nostalgic sentiment but rather because he has stepped up to the plate right from his first night in the trading room. 

His "style" of trading couldn`t be simpler - a welcome alternative to my War & Peace efforts - and those new to trading will have benefited from his easy to follow LAY current score trades. Asked on one occasion about his match selection Razor replied that it was less to do with in-play stats but more a question of odds providing value.

We have certainly found value in his picks this past month.......

£15 on its way old fruit!

Razor has informed me that he wishes to donate this £15 prize to the followiing charities: MIIND, Injured Jockeys Fund and the Devon Air Ambulance service


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Bingo Bypass Handicap Hurdle


As posted exclusively to members just before Christmas, this ante-post trade is now reaching its conclusion and what a contest it has been!

The book on Bingo`s By-Pass Hurdle (to give its shorter name) opened with a large field and presented traders with a number of opportunities in-running. As the event is now approaching the final furlong so to speak most of us would have exited our earlier positions with a few options still available to stay in the trade to eke out further profits. Here is a summary of this fascinating contest:

The leading runners in the market were Stroke, Amputation, Blood Clot, Death and Impotence, the latter a very real danger to this trader. Further down the field we had Parkinsons who was no great shakes frankly. Dementia, a foal out of Madness on the dam side, forgot to turn up. Panic and Anxiety, not unsurprisingly, attracted interest but were clearly out of their depth in this listed contest; worth keeping an eye on though in the upcoming "Who Gives a Toss" novice stakes.  Myopia and Cataract hardly got a look in. 

After a sluggish start where most of the runners appeared to be totally anaethetised, Stroke and Amputation never seemed to be in contention despite the going being in their favour, so the LAY to BACK traders should have exited with a nice green there. Likewise with Death who gave up the ghost early doors. Bookies, clearly in a festive mood, have offered to refund those who tried to back this each-way, citing the obvious fact that Immortality was not  an option. In an 8 hour race under gruelling conditions Blood Clot was generally present throughout in mid-division. Clearing the red would have been the best move there in my opinion. However, going about its business stealthily, Pneumonia suddenly made an impressive move up on the inside lung. Its stable mate, Exhaustion, while up with pace throughout yet, paradoxically, off it as well, began to ask serious questions on the by now strung out field. Impotence, the dark horse in the race, remained the only other challenger yet, oddly, didn`t appear to give a fuck. Backers of this, like myself, could have elected to let the trade run, depending on whether you felt a clean sheet was a possibility or not.

Nearing the finishing line, most of the field had either pulled up or fallen, leaving Exhaustion to canter home with some margin to spare. A thrilling contest, if the macabre and absurd gets your adrenalin going, but the sponsors, Gillette Super Surgical Scalpel, announced directly after the race that it would be ceasing any further involvement. It is to be hoped that no other sponsor will be found willing to take up any further interest in an event of this nature.

So, it`s back to business on the level playing fields of the beautiful game. This trader is happy to say he will be delighted to enjoy your company once more in the chat room this Saturday, 6th January.

Stay healthy. Stay green!






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Laying odds-on favourites


Some years ago a fellow trader and I were discussing the question of value, what it meant exactly and where to find it. At one point he remarked that just because a horse is trading @ 100/1 it doesn`t follow that its odds represent value. It could wll be the case that 500/1 would be a fairer price on its chances of winning. 

Trading football teams can present similar contradictions. A top Premiership side playing at home on a balmy September afternoon in the FA Cup against a League Two side is trading @ 1.25 pre KO. Those odds may actually appear to be quite generous and the true price should be closer to 1.12! However, change the scenario a little, for example, it is mid-January, the match is being played in Cumbria and the Premiership club are fielding a 2nd XI team since they want to keep their top guns fit and avaialble for a crucial, title deciding clash three days later. Odds @ 1.25 doesn`t seem so attractive.

That is a fairly overstated example of how to determine value but instructiive nonetheless. In Wednesday night`s Champions League final Group games other factors (and in Man City`s case included the scenario similar to the one described above) were worth considering when looking to see if the market had misjudged the odds on certain teams.

Below is the preview I wrote for some of the games played on Dec 6th where I felt value could be had in laying heavy odds-on favourites. I have subsequently added the final score and the P/L on each match:



The final round of the Champions League Group stage matches sees a number of heavy odds-on favs who could be worth taking on as LAY material. 


If Sevilla beat Maribor and LIverpool fail to beat Spartak Moscow then the Spaniards will finish top of Group E. Maribor, the Slovenian champions, have been the whipping boys of the Group - Liverpool thrashed them 7-0 on their turf - but I`m not so sure that they will capitulate so easily tonight. I watched Sevilla v Deportivo La Coruna last weekend and witnessed an underwhelming performance. Yes, they achieved a highly creditable draw after being 3-0 to Liverpool but @ 1.26 away from home that price seems incredibly short.

LAY SEVILLA ASIAN HCP  - 1.0  & - 1.5.................2 PTS

Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2 pts / 140% ROI


SPURS v APOEL  19.45

Spurs have fallen off the pace in recent weeks with two losses and two draws that has seen the North London boys drop to equal sixth with Burnley in the Premiership. Already assured of finsihing top of their Group Pochettino will make wholesale changes for the visit of the Cypriots tonight. Apoel are in fine form themselves with four wins in their last five and scoring goals doesn`t appear to be a problem. 4-0 / 6-1 / 3-1 / 4-0 victories is impressive

LAY SPURS......................2 PTS

Result : 3-0

P/L : - 0.6 pts 



To progress Leipzig need to beat Besiktas and hope that Porto fail to defeat Monaco. The Germans suffered a heavy 4-0 defeat to Hoffenheim last weekend while Besiktas, the surprise package of this CL Group, saw off rivals Galatasary 3-0 in the domestic league. The Turks are unbeaten in their last ten and are undefeated in their five CL group games. Although Besiktas have little to play for Leipzig do seem too short @ 1.40

LAY LEIPZIG....................2 PTS


Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2 pts / 280% ROI



No odds on shots here but supporting Shaktar could be the way to go. City are assured of progression to the next phase and their immediate thoughts will be the hugely important Manchester derby this Sunday. Guardiola will certainly be rotating his squad for tonight`s encounter.

LAY CITY ASIAN HCP 0 & +0.5...........1.5 PTS

BACK OVER 2.5...................................1 PT

Result : 2-1

Result : 1-1

P/L : + 2.5 pts / 82% ROI


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Anatomy of a trade


When selecting a game to trade preferably you should have undertaken a little research - read some preview sites, checked some stats, decided upon your entry & exit points, considered carefully your staking plan - and then hope that the two teams have read your script! Often you will find that they are illiterate. They simply don`t play ball, your best laid plans scuppered.........or not. Recovery from a losing position can be obtained with a little thinking outside the box and, crucially, a good dollop of patience.

Monday, 4th December Trade of the Day Preview & Staking plan:


Alaves are in free-fall at the moment and prop up the table having lost 11 of their last 13 La Liga matches. Their cause is not helped tonight by a crippling absentee list due to injuries & suspensions.

Girona by contrast remain unbeaten in their last five outings, a period in which they took the scalp of Real Madrid.

Girona`s matches see an average of 2.69 per game and Alaves 2.25. Seven of Girona`s last eight games have seen Over 2.5 goals


BACK GIRONA TO WIN + BTTS YES................£20 ( link to market here )

BACK 2-0................£9

BACK 3-0................£6

BACK 3-1................£3





P/L: + £138

Now, as you can see, all of the pre match bets on those markets selected were losers. So how did we end up not only with a winning trade but a profit of 363% ROI (return on investment)?

The beauty of trading as opposed to straightforward punting is that the betting exchange provides the facility to manage your position during the entirety of the match. This can include moves to reduce or even clear your initial liability; you can perform what is known as "hedging" a market whereby you are left with a profit on all outcomes. This is also known as "greening up". You can use other markets in addition to the ones you selected pre-match. You can back or lay different scorelines or the Over/Under goals markets.

Girona were pre match favs @ 1.68, hence the markets & scorelines were selected to reflect the home team`s apparent superiority and the away team`s perceived inferiority.

The staking plan was weighted heavily in favour of Girona with an insurance policy in the Correct Score market to guard against Alaves not scoring. All well and good but there are dangers here. 0-0 is one, any draw scoreline or Alaves win would also be losers.

As stated earlier we are looking for the teams to read our script and thus we have certain specific scenarios mapped out that will allow us to execute our pre determined in-play moves. In this case 1-0 or 2-0 at HT would be ideal. Why? Because the odds on 2-0 & 3-0 in CS would be lower than what we had backed pre match. Effectively, this scenario allows us to manage our position, specifically by reducing our initial liabilities. 
1-1 at HT is not as ideal but not a disaster either. Both teams have scored now which is good; the market will expect the heavy fav to go on to win the game and therefore the first part of our trade - Girona to Win + BTTS YES - will have odds lower than the 4.2 on offer pre KO. Again we have the opportunity to reduce the initial £20 liability on that maket.

Half-time: 0-0.........hold on, that`s not in the script!! All of the prices in the markets we have selected have now drifted so the possibility of reducing our liabilities have all but disappeared. Yes, we could exit the Correct Score market by "redding up" (leaving an equal negative figure on all scorelines) and thus accepting the trade is virtually over and a loss on the trade will be the end result.

However, this is when another important aspect of trading comes into play: Patience. There is 45 minutes left to play, we have already identified in our pre match research the average goals scored & conceded by both teams in the 13 games so far this season in La Liga. We also know historically across all leagues that 75% of all goals arrive between 35-90mins. Patience, brother, patience! The pre determined plan to reduce liabilities can still be effected provided a goal (preferably to Girona) is scored early-ish in the 2nd half. 0-0 still remains the biggest danger which can be offset to some extent by LAYING the fav. It`s an option which will result ultimately in a losing trade but at least not a 100% loss. Remember: think of options to reduce your liabilities rather than focusing solely on what you want to happen.

59` : 1-0. The odds on 2-0 have now halved from pre KO @ 8.6 to 4.1........3-0 odds are the same. We are far from being in a winning position but we are at least back on track to managing responsibly our liabilities.

62` : 2-0.  The advantage of two goals arriving so close together is that the market has not really had time to settle and any plans to LAY have not been executed. This is, admittedly, a slice of luck which can happen as regularly as those moments when bets you place are not matched because of unlucky timing. As with dubious penalty decisions in a football match, these injustices and strokes of good fortune in a trade even themselves out over time. 
Now some daylight is appearing in the trade. The scenario we would have preferred to show itself in the first half is now in full technicolour in the 2nd half. GREEN UP Correct Score for £36 over all scorelines leaving just the £20 liability (and £8 red on an earlier HT score bet). We cannot lose and an £8 profit is guaranteed whatever the result.............but if Alaves score then the trade moves into cruise control.
At this point I generally like to LAY the leading team - in this case @ 1.03 - for £70. It is cheap and reduces the £8 potential profit to £6. The upside to this additional £2 expense is enormous as we shall see later.

71` : 2-1. The trade has now swung completely in our favour to the tune of + £80 should the score remain the same. 3-1 & 3-2 also secures the same profit. 2-2 or any Alaves win also will produce a similar green P/L.
With that level of profit now guaranteed we can "spend" a little of that; we can go shopping with some free money if you like. In this case we went to the 4.5 goals market and layed Under 4.5 £40 @ 1.10. We also cleared the £20 red on Girona/BTTS Yes which was trading @ 1.17

87` : 2-2. Nothing has changed in terms of our potential profit but one more goal will be the proverbial icing on the cake.

93` : 2-3. Christmas comes early

FT : 2-3

P/L : + £138

CS: + £36.........Girona + BTTS YES.......£0...........Match Odds  + £70............Over 4.5  + £40.............HT score  - £8

girona alaves





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