30th November 2018
So, by now you’re probably aware that myself, Caan Berry and Steve Howe will be hosting a Pro Traders Event sponsored by Betfair in February.
This is something new for me. Despite holding a Betfair account since 2001 and being an active sports trader since 2006, I’ve continually resisted the urge to do additional activities based around trading on the exchange as it seems there’s always been a reason not to do it!
So, what has changed and why have I decided to get involved now?
Family are growing up
My first stumbling block has always been the amount of time I have spare. When I started trading it was just myself and my partner (Nicola). Oh, and a dog. But that was it – no kids or additional distractions.
These days I’m surrounded by 3 bundles of joy, but with the youngest now well past his second birthday, a glimmer of light is starting to appear on the horizon.
Benefits of networking
This autumn I was invited up to London by Betfair to be a part of a Q&A panel for a large group of their VIP customers. The idea was to promote the exchange and explain the opportunities it presented compared to a regular sportsbook.
On the panel was Caan, Steve and another very likeable chap by the name of Chris Duncan.
Now here’s the thing. I didn’t really expect to enjoy it. Trying to explain what I do has caused me much distress over the years. The puzzled look on peoples faces, the blank expressions, the guaranteed reply of ‘so, you’re a gambler?’ have all taken their tolll. So I was expecting much of the same, but as it was in what I would consider ‘my quiet time of year’ I thought ‘what the heck’ and toddled off.
And what happened? I enjoyed it! Talking with others about trading put a smile on my face and sharing my experiences made me realise how much knowledge I've soaked up - in 13 years you can fit in thousands of hours of screen-time and that experience adds up.
Cricket continues to grow
In this year’s IPL it was common for games to match more than £50m in traded volume in just over 3 hours. That’s incredible – a few years ago this amount would have been £10-£15m. On top of this these matches were all on UK television with start times very palatable to UK viewers (from memory, 11.30am and 3.30pm). And this is just one T20 tournament - there are several now held around the world each year.
With this growth has come an increased level of interest and I’m now regularly receiving emails asking whether I run courses, can offer advice or suggest some tips.
Until now the answer has always been no.
Boost Exchange awareness
Betfair and the exchange have changed my life. They are so ingrained in what I do and who I am that I now struggle to remember life before they existed. My memories of following my grandfather into a betting shop and spending hours watching him study the form from newspapers hanging on the wall are fading!
Seriously though, as people who are looking for value when selecting bets, we are in such a better position with access to an exchange. Having the option to offer bets and not just accept what we’re given is something we shouldn’t take for granted, so with concerns in recent years that Betfair were neglecting their exchange I do feel some sort of responsibility to continue spreading the word.
What I’m not doing it for….
Okay, maybe a little bit! I’d be lying if I said getting some financial reward for talking about trading isn’t appealing, but in truth any financial gain would be the equivalent of a couple weeks premium charges and as it could well be a ‘one off’ this isn’t something I'm relying on for day to day income. No, this event falls far short of providing any financial motivation. A nice bonus maybe, but nothing more.
Stroking my ego
Far from it. If anything, I’ve tended to shy away from putting myself out there too much recently. I’ve tweeted less for some time and politely declined a few requests to do podcasts. There was also the opportunity to be part of the Betfair Pro Traders campaign a few years back but I passed it up as at the time it didn’t feel right. Yes, I know, I have a big shiny logo, my name embezzled over my website and my pic on my twitter page, but that has always been a mission statement for me. A personal thing, a reminder to do better – not a flashy wand to wave in front of others.
Because I’ve lost my edge
There are no guarantees with exchange trading – an edge that exists today can be gone tomorrow – but although there are always blips (to be expected) things are still on an upward trend for me. If this wasn’t the case, I wouldn’t be partnering with Betfair and the others and doing this event. I couldn’t stand in front of people and enthuse about the exchange if I didn’t believe an opportunity existed. It’s just not me.