Cash or Crash?

The trading blog read only by very nice people!

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    RobbieChicago (from Swindon, not Chicago) is a man of many talents. Known for his excellent risottos and tasty Shepherd's Pies, he is also great with children and spectacular in bed (assuming he's being marked on his sleeping ability). Clearly unable to operate in his shadow, his employers of nine years made him redundant from his position in a large and respected company based in the City. Stung by this unexpected rejection, and vowing to "show those bastards", RobbieChicago has turned his attention to trading sports risk on the Betfair markets, and penning the most entertaining and informative blog within the field. At time of writing the blog is going considerably better than the trading, but an almost impossibly arrogant assumption of greatness means that our hero is certain he will succeed.

    RobbieChicago loves Frank Zappa, Columbo and throwing frisbees. He dislikes baked beans.

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Archive for February, 2010


Posted by robbiechicago on February 4, 2010

It’s been nearly a month since I posted.  Apologies for my silence, I’ve been hiding.

Can't see me!

Since I was last among you all, things have changed.  I have been approached about a job, and whilst it’s by no means a cert that it’s going to happen, the very idea of it settled in my mind and has changed my view of where things are going, whatever the outcome.

I began trading back in August and was working at it almost full time, so there can be no suggestion that I didn’t give it enough time.  Time and money were certainly something I did invest, along with no small amount of emotion and effort.  As you’ll see from my posts and my results, I had many lows, several highs but the learning curve was a steep one, much steeper than I had anticipated.  I didn’t enter into it with any misconceptions.  I knew that the superstars like Peter Webb and Adam Heathcote are the exception rather than the rule.  I aimed to eventually be a tenth as good at trading as they are, and that would be very nice indeed.  Both of these chaps deserve respect and admiration, the former for his years of continued work in the markets, the latter for his obvious natural talent in the field.  Both of them are inspirational, but I never saw myself reaching their heights.  I didn’t rule it out of course, but aimed somewhat lower.  However, that said, I did expect to see more improvement in my own trading after 6 months.  The absolute key thing for me is that after all this time, trading did not feel any easier.  I had identified errors and reduced them, and I am sure my trading did improve, but it just didn’t feel like I had made much progress.

So, you’ve given up then?

Well, yes and no.  I have, it is true, stopped.  But I think it’s important to distinguish between stopping and giving it up.  Had this potential job offer not come, would I still be trading now?  Almost certainly yes.   Will I start trading again?  Probably not.  Before it came, I had not considered going back to work, but once the idea was on the table and I began to think about it, it seemed like the right thing to do.  I have eluded in past posts to the fact that my money was beginning to run out and I might need to get a part time job to keep the wolves from the door while I learned how to make consistent profits from trading.  So when this approach came along it made me think about the bigger picture and whether I should move back into the 9-5 life.  Surprisingly, the idea appealed.

In the weeks prior to the approach, when the racing was all but decimated, I’d been watching all sorts of other sports looking for trading opportunities.  I was looking to broaden my scope away from just pre-race trading as even when the racing was back to normal it would be good to diversify somewhat.  (This reminds me of when I missed out on a nice big win – I had noted Peter Webb’s post about laying at 1.01 when he saw the odds of defending BDO darts champion drop to rock bottom in one match, only for his opponent to come back and win.  I had been looking for opportunities to play with this low risk/high reward strategy and it appeared at the end of the snooker Masters final.  I’d actually stopped trading that day, having made a really nice profit on the over/under 2.5 goals markets earlier in the day.  When Ronnie went (I think) 3 frames up with 4 to play, I thought about having a look and laying him, but having made some reasonable money already I decided to get out while the going was good.  We all know what happened next:  He didn’t win another frame!  As he was losing I checked the historical odds, and sure enough he’d been trading at 1.01.  I could have got in and made a killing.  Hey ho!)  Anyway, after discussing this job opportunity and mulling it over, I settled down to watch some football.  What I felt when I watched that game under no pressure to seek out value was relief.  I could actually watch the game without constantly analysing it and questioning the odds.  It was an eye-opener.

As things stand, I’m in limbo.  I’ve stopped trading, and I am waiting for something to happen with this job approach.  If it does I’ll be happy.  If it doesn’t, I have decided to look for full time employment.  So right now it looks like my attempt at becoming a professional trader is over.  But, as the last few weeks have shown, I will never say never, and things may change.  Indeed, I’m rather bored now that I don’t have trading to occupy my mind, so I might actually do the odd hour here or there just for something to do.  I shall certainly continue to read the blogs of those who shared the struggle with me, and I hope you all have the success you deserve.



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