BlogRead the Latest News

 

Bet Angel – Tips – Import and export settings

If you are using Bet Angel V1.51.1 or above, there is the option to quickly import and export individual saved settings and layout profiles. You have always been able to import and export a variety of things, but above this version number, it’s much more comprehensive.

This is particularly useful because, as a feature-rich piece of Betfair trading software, it’s important to be able to move all your data and settings around with ease. I use dropbox to duplicate all my main settings.

The following are useful features and advice if you have Bet Angel installed on multiple computers or a VPS when you have created a setting or layout profile on one PC. But then want to use it on another without the hassle of setting it up again from scratch.

The process to export or import key settings into Bet Angel is simple. Just follow the on-screen menu items: –

Screen layout settings

The screen layout settings on Bet Angel allow you to quickly switch between your own ‘perfect’ trading screen. You can undock and modify the screen as much as you wish and move different parts of Bet Angel to different areas on the screen. You can even move Bet Angel panels onto different monitors and store all these screen settings under a profile. Just a single click on your Bet Angel main screen will bring up an unlimited list of your favourite screen layouts. Perhaps one for pre-off, one for in-play and others for the same states in different sports.

To save, import or export these settings look under the ‘view’ menu item.

Import and export screen layouts on Bet Angel

Bet Angel main settings

Bet Angel can be modified in a number of different ways, the amount of customisation on the settings is massive. If you haven’t checked it out, the main settings panel in Bet Angel allows you to modify a large number of things in the way that Bet Angel operates. Again, you can create a range of modifications and options specific to your trading style and sport and select them with a couple of clips from within Bet Angel.

To save, import and export custom settings. Rather appropriately, head to the ‘Settings’ menu.

Bet Angel Ladder settings

As will all other settings, the Ladder settings on Bet Angel can create a huge range of versatility and flexibility on the ladder interface. There are too many options to list here, but at a fundamental level, you can make your Bet Angel ladder look and behave like any other ladder you have used…. and then some. In this area, you can configure special information that is tailored to your specific trading strategy. Check out the information on this blog post.

To create, import or export the ladder settings. Click on the spanner in the ladder pane and go to the settings tab.

Transfer ALL settings to a new PC

If you have just installed Bet Angel on a new PC or remote server, you may wish to transfer all your existing Bet Angel settings including all saved layouts, settings, and servant/automation files etc in one go.

To do this, navigate to or copy and paste the following into your address bar in windows explorer: –

%homepath%\AppData\Roaming\Bet Angel\Bet Angel Professional
(or if you’re using Bet Angel Trader then replace Professional with Trader at the end)

Then select ALL the files and folders in the view you see and copy them to the same location on your new PC. If you are already logged into Bet Angel you can use a shortcut to get to the same area.

Open guardian and click on the ‘Advanced Settings’ tab located above the main Guardian banner, from here click ‘Explore Reports Folder’. Then in the window that opens, click ‘Bet Angel Professional’ in the address bar to step back one page as shown in the image below that will take you to the same Bet Angel directory as the link above.

Summary

Bet Angel has a massive range of customisation features, which makes it one of the most customisable pieces of software out there. This is great for your trading as you can tweak Bet Angel to suit your particular edge or Betfair trading strategy.

Whether it the grid interface, the ladder or any of the other features, all the trading tools can be used to carefully construct exactly what you want depending or what you want to do or wish to replicate. Now porting all those settings between PC’s or devices is simple using the import and export functions or just doing a straight copy of the key files.

If you want to learn to trade and haven’t used Bet Angel we offer a free trial, so you can learn more about these features and have a good play with all of them in training mode.

The post Bet Angel – Tips – Import and export settings appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Why we choke and how you can profit from it

I’ve just finished reading a very good summary of the core reasons why we choke. The article is a nice clean summary and is worth a read.

Fundamentally, it comments on how information is stored in the brain and transferred from a semi-autonomous region to a more thoughtful process. The semi-autonomous region falls apart when it is forced to transfer back to the other part of the brain. Your brain can be in the zone, then forced out of it! This can happen by accident or by your sly opponent forcing you to do it.

For what it’s worth, here is my experience of this exact thing. This can teach us some critically important things. The first thing it teaches you is how a skill is learned and then becomes “natural”. It is also useful to understand what’s going on inside your head, a sportspersons head or even that of an entire team!

Why have they lost confidence? Why can’t they play the way they were doing a short while ago? Why has this team failed? What can the manager do about it? What exactly does restoring confidence mean?

I have two stories to tell you about why we choke, both separated by a large number of years and one bit of practical experience that ended in a nice profit.

Choking in Tennis

When I was young I would play tennis doubles with a friend of mine. Individually we were not really that good, but when we played we were almost telepathic. Our incompetence within the core game was overcome by our ability to out-think our opponents. Our ability to read and game and to move around the court in unison was a perfect foil to much more skilled players.

During one particularly promising spell, we managed to beat a number of opponents on the way to the latter stages of the tournament. Our progress surprised us as even with our above-average combination, we were still not as good as doubles players that were fundamentally better than us. Overjoyed with our progress, we were playing some very confident Tennis.

Upon reaching a critical match, we both talked to each other at the start of the match about how important it was and how it was amazing we got this far. If only we could see ourselves through this match it would be an amazing result and we would be so close to the tournament final stages.

Therein what followed was one of the worst games of tennis we had ever played and we were mystified at how we could mess things up so much! It was a bit embarrassing to reach that later stage then crumble.

It was a humbling experience.

Choking in Golf

Many years later I found myself in a senior corporate role and entertaining clients was a key part of the role. As a result, I was often getting invites to play golf. The big issue was that I’d never played golf and I had no real idea about how to do it.

So I leaned on a friend of mine who was a golfing fanatic and he gave me some lessons. I practised very hard to become semi-competent at playing golf. My key objective was to be able to step out on a championship course and not hopelessly embarrass myself.

Eventually, I had enough confidence in my game to actually go out and play in an organised tournament, an amateur one. What followed was one of the worst games of golf that I’ve ever played and I was mystified at how I could mess things up so much! I seemed to hit the grass more than the ball most of the time. Or sometimes the top of it, sending the ball skidding across the grass a few yards. Thankfully I was paired with some sympathetic players who were already aware of my nervousness.

I recalled my tennis journey of many years earlier and how the same thing happened, so I went to seek advice from the golf professional at a nearby club. What he did, surprised me. Because he didn’t talk about my game at all which he said was ‘OK’. He watched me swing a few balls then said there were areas to improve but talked to me about something else.

What he actually did was talk about my mind and the tricks it was playing when I was playing a round of golf. He did a couple of things to demonstrate this to me. This included getting me to think very intensely about what I was doing and getting me to stop thinking at all about what I was doing. He summarised by saying that I was over-thinking every shot when I played in that tournament and in fact, I should just go out there and enjoy it and I would play a whole lot better.

He recommended that rather than thinking through each of the individual shots when I went to play them. I should just hum a tune or recite a book in my mind. Yes, look at the shot, line up the shot, look at the ball and just check that everything is all right, but don’t over-think the actual shot. Just let it happen!

Does it have exactly the right lie? Is that grass in the way? Have I selected the right club? What about if I just gently pull it from left to right? Should I have taken on a different line to this point? Pretty much all those things evacuated my head and I filled it with thoughts of “isn’t this a nice course?”, “wouldn’t it be great if I could get this to within a few yards of the hole?“, “That was a great tee shot”

From complete failure to winner

A year after my disaster in the amateur tournament I played the same tournament again at a different course. I strode out full of confidence with my new knowledge. Not only did I play well, but I had the round of my life and ended up winning the thing! A better performance was what I was aiming for, but I never expected to win it. That was crazy.

On this particular day, I could do nothing wrong, nothing. It was amazing! Driving off the tee the ball would ping straight as an arrow, sometimes way beyond my standard driving distance. Hazard shots were perfect, I was putting in from 20 feet and chipping over trees to reach the green. I just could do no wrong. As I got the latter part of the round I realise my score was good enough to win so I just eased back on tricky shots and played percentage golf. Becoming aware of how I was playing actually influenced how I played those last few holes but I saw it through.

I guess my better performance and a bit of luck combined with my new approached and that was enough to produce the win. The rather large silver trophy still sits proudly in my dining room and I can bore people to tears with the epic round of golf that acquired the trophy. It’s funny how it seems easier in hindsight!

The simple fact was that during the tennis tournament in the prior golf tournament, I had choked. In the latter tournament, I was completely relaxed at ease with myself and let my subconscious do the hard work. I never really expected to win the tournament, that was a bonus.

But what I had learnt however was the art of not choking. It was a life moment that stuck with me to this day and changed the way I approach situations and especially ones that involve risk.

Spotting key turning points when Betfair trading

I have blogged about this before in sports markets. But there can often be key turning points in a sport, in matches and it’s most dominant in individual player sports, especially Tennis. Probably the most subtle example I can give in recent years is where a feather flipped Murray out of the zone and he couldn’t close out the final.

Having held his own and fortuitously won the first set, Andy Murray went into the second tie break having had the better of the second set. Halfway through the tie break, down flutters a feather and distracts Murray just for a moment. It was like a scene out of Forrest Gump, who would have thought small objects could have such a bit effect. After getting rid of the offending object Murray double faults, loses the second set tie break and never regains momentum. It turned out it was a very key moment in the match, but I didn’t spot it at the time. Definitely one for the notebook. It was interesting to note that the market got it spot on at the time. Plenty of lay bets arrived on Murray at that moment. Seeing that amount of money turned out to be a great proxy for a key turning point in that match.

The other key moment in the match was that key second game in the second set. Murray really had the wind behind him after the first set and served first in the second. His first service game he won to love and he really had Djokovic on the ropes on his following service game. Murray won eight straight points to put Djokovic on the back foot at 0-40. But he just couldn’t finish him off. It was a massive save for Djokovic. It wouldn’t be until 2-1 0-1 Djokovic till Murray would get another clear chance at a break and having failed again, he was then broken and the match was pretty much over.

Often you can find opponents who will deliberately try to get you to choke, some people choke easier than others. But understanding the thing that gets you there, will help you trade that situation a lot better. Maybe it can also help you, in a number of different areas.

But understanding what’s going on in somebodies mind, either on the field of play or in your own mind, is a key trading tactic!

The post Why we choke and how you can profit from it appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Learning how to take risk

Apophenia is defined as, the “unmotivated seeing of connections” accompanied by a “specific experience of an abnormal meaningfulness”. For the full definition visit the wiki entry: –

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apophenia

Apophenia has come to imply a universal human tendency to seek patterns in random information, such as gambling, charts or data. It’s a flaw that afflicts many!

One of my favourite websites in recent years is Spurious Correlations. It details correlations that don’t make any sense. Definitive proof that correlation isn’t causation and that’s the key to accurate pattern recognition.

Apophenia and Gambling

Probably the best-known appearance of this in gambling markets is the gambler’s fallacy. This is when a long run of results lead gamblers to believe that ‘their luck must turn’. The fact is, good and bad runs are normal and there is unlikely to be a bias in the market unless you can describe why.

People are notoriously bad at assessing risk and some of this has to do with the fact that they can’t see what is random or not. Ask a computer to generate truly random numbers and you often get ‘unlikely’ runs occurring in the data. Ask humans to generate a random sequence and they don’t tend to put a truly random sequence down. Fraud management systems exploit this bias to spot potential issues.

Apophenia and Trading

When trading people often look at charts and ‘feel’ that the chart is telling them something. Using ‘feel’ is the most common fault behind Apophenia as that relies on human ‘insight’ and that’s the flaw.

Many moons ago, Humans had to use instinct to avoid being eaten by something or seriously injuring themselves in the quest for food. That’s not really a risk now, but that instinct still exists and it infects the way a lot of people approach making risky decisions.

Instinct still has a role to play though. as it can improve reaction time; but instinct on its own generally cannot be relied upon to make a fair judgement in a game of chance. After all, your money is at risk of being eaten when trading rather than you. But that still hurts.

Avoiding Apophenia

The only true way to avoid this inbuilt bias is to come up with an explanation of why what you are seeing occurs. If you can logically explain what you are seeing and put that to use, then you have no reason to resort to instinct. “This happened, then that happened and therefore this will happen”, Is the thought that goes through my mind when assessing risk. Yes, you still need to act on it, but knowing that you are using some logic will help you overrule doing something daft.

It’s a battle between logic and emotion. But the good thing is that it is possible to rebalance. How do I know? I had to go through it!

Taking risk – Finding the perfect trade

When you look at things academically, it often only explains in hindsight why something happens. It generally doesn’t always help you predict what is about to happen. Therefore pattern recognition can lead you don’t the wrong path when using historical data. You can make it fit whatever you wish!

In life, only two things are certain, death and taxes. The rest is a blend of possibles and maybes. Sometimes the possibles are very strong, other times it’s shrouded in a fog. So when trading you are trying to take all available information to conjure up a picture of what is happening now, but also how that information will influence exactly what is about to happen.

The trouble with the future is that it hasn’t happened yet. So that element of what you are doing doesn’t come shrink wrapped in a handy bag to take away. Whatever decision you make, there will always be an element of doubt in it.

This is where academics often stumble. If you analyse too much you find everything looks neat and there is no edge, so you don’t try. You don’t see the point, that’s understandable.

The fact is, you can’t eliminate all risk from something whatever you are doing, even if you are crossing the road. There is a demonstrable risk that something could go wrong. Even if you lie in bed all day to avoid risk, that brings an alternative type of risk. So you have to take a risk, somewhen, somehow. If you find yourself constantly asking ‘what if?’ then you are definitely a conservative risk-taker. If you say ‘what the hell’ then you are probably at the other end of the scale.

How to take risk

Natural risk-takers have a nice balance of understanding what they are doing, understanding the impact of their actions, but ultimately being able to press that button without fear. Of course, things could go wrong; but they could go very right as well! You are merely looking for a decent opportunity, it may not work, but that will all average out in the long term anyhow.

Ultimately, you are looking slightly ahead of where you are and trying to work out if the risk you are taking is fair, then waiting for it to happen. You could ask ‘what if’ a billion times, but it does NOTHING to mitigate any risk factors. All you can do is make a sensible judgement. Once that judgement is made you have to reassess and move forward.

If you mess up, you accept that and move on. If you got it right, you are not a god, you just took a good risk. Once in a position, you have to cope with another frailty, loss aversion. But that’s another blog post altogether!

How to spot a good risk-taker

A good proxy for the skill of a risk-taker is how long they have been doing it. Poor decision-makers, especially in sports or financial markets, pay the ultimate price. Loss of capital and a job! So longevity is a great proxy for spotting somebody that is good at taking a risk.

Embrace random

Generally in life and in the markets, if you do something at random you get random results. But, random results occur in a positive and a negative manner. Generally in equal proportion, especially in sports markets. So even if you were random, it would often balance out and may produce some surprise results.

Negative people are often so focused on negative situations, they turn out to be brilliant at finding them. So you don’t want to do that! But you also don’t want to be blind to risk.

Ultimately it’s a balance. But look for opportunities is my advice. They are everywhere and that’s the correct frame of mind. Don’t look for problems, or you will most likely find them!

The post Learning how to take risk appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.

Why is Betfair trading simple, but not easy?

What is the most common cause of losses?

When people stumble into Betfair trading it all looks pretty easy. After all, a quick Google will lead you to countless gurus and Betfair trading strategies that seem to practically print money. All yours for £35, but hurry as the price is going up next week!

You will be pleased to know, that I can confirm Betfair trading is a valid way of participating in betting markets. It’s quite simply the best, maybe the only way, that anybody has been able to make money through betting over long periods of time. It’s great!

Here is this conundrum, Betfair trading is simple, but not easy. As is often quoted in financial markets, it’s the hardest way to make an easy living.

Having spent years trading financial markets, I had a head start on Betfair trading. But even then, I still had to battle some demons. My early attempts at trading financial markets were disastrous, but when I turned my hand to trading on Betfair full-time I had learnt my lesson.

However, it seemed harder to understand why people kept making the same mistakes. Here is what I learnt from watching others trading well, but still losing money. You will be interested to see people making errors, but generally not with their trading.

You know how to trade, so why are you still losing money?

Do you feel as if you have the ability but are still losing your money?

Well, I can give you a really quick answer to start with. Trading is very counterintuitive, this will tell you why most people lose money when trading. But there is a longer answer and that’s what I’m going to talk about here.

Example:

Typically, in a sports betting market, a price starts on one side and then goes up or down, for the sake of this example, let’s say it’s going up. The price goes up and you make £200.00 on the Betfair exchange you hedge your position and order your Sunseeker! OK, generally speaking, you would make a small profit unless the price movement is huge. But you get where I am coming from.

So, that’s quite simple, right? The price starts in one place, goes up and you end with a profit. You could be looking to do some swing trading, looking to lock in a profit with a long term move and you just need to guess the direction.

That’s how most people think that the market works. However, the reality is completely different.

So price starts at one point and ends at another point. The way that the market works is: The average result in the market tends to be zero, so the distribution of gains and losses tends to centre around zero, and that would tend to occur if you’re in a market that’s producing roughly random returns.

So, look at the bell curve, at the top, you would see a certain level of return, you will see a lot of returns around the middle and then it would tail off a bit towards the end. You would then decide where you think the results would finish.

Now let us say that we’re looking for a particular setup (and that’s what you should do when using trading software, you should have the approach of thinking the market is going to do certain things for the following reasons) we’re looking for a set up where the price is going to drift, there are a number of setups that you can use to do this. We know the price is going to go from one point to another, and we can be pretty certain that on average it’s likely to happen.

Of course, we are hoping to get it right more times than we get it wrong and that’s where we’ll make our profit. However, and there are many reasons why you may never see that profit because the market doesn’t actually always head towards a particular price.

That image shows the path of desire, so we know it’s going to end up there, the path of desire that’s pulling it in that direction on the betting exchange. But what actually happens in the market, is the market never goes in a straight line!

If you trade at random over a very long period of time, you’ll get positive and negative results which will balance each other out and you’ll end up at zero overall. But, of course, you’ve got to pay a bit of commission, so that detracts from your positive values and you’ll end up slightly net negative overall.

The market will go up and go down and test your patience, before finally ending up at that particular point – that is the status quo of the market. That is the way that the market tends to work, it doesn’t tend to go in one direction. As seasoned Betfair traders will tell you, especially in horse racing, a market on Betfair rarely goes in a straight line.

If you open and close a position automatically by laying at the start and hedging later, using this trade you’d make a profit. But if trading manually and you are watching and acting on the position, at various points within the market you would come under a lot of psychological pressure.

So initially, the market is going in our direction and we think this is great. But then the market turns around and abruptly starts to go against us, which piles on the pressure.  

Now you are faced with a choice, remember you can’t see the rest of the graph. So do you hold your position? When you see me trade I keep a list of things in my head that says what I want to happen and if all of those things are intact I will hold my position, even if it starts to go against me. But a lot of people can’t do that.

So let us say that we actually join the market a bit later and our position goes against us immediately, then the problem that we’ve got is that it looks like it is heading in the wrong direction and you trade out, only to see the market move back in the other direction! Trading can be very frustrating.

Summary

That is why trading is hard, people find it very difficult to cope with these little bumps that occur within the market. These are frequently seen on horse racing markets. The decision that you made in the market may be completely correct, but the fact that the market is moving against you creates a major issue for you psychologically.

A lot of positions may show a loss at some point. As the position goes against you, the temptation to cut your position is incredibly strong because it’s human instinct to fear a loss. But as you travel down this path towards the closing position it may have been actually better to hold that position in the market for a period of time.

This a common reason why I see people end up making a loss when I would have made a profit in the same market, they just get freaked out by the volatility. Getting used to that is a key part of the learning process when trading. The longer you are in the market and the more markets you trade, the easier you will come to terms with this aspect of trading.

But also, create some structure around your trade. Create a checklist and score yourself against that checklist. Recorded your trading, play it back and learn where those key pressure points are so you can learn to undo your inbuilt instinct.

This is probably one of the key things I’ve learnt about trading. Whether I trade with £10 stakes or £1000 stakes, I act exactly the same way. But it’s something that I’ve learnt to do and over many years and through many markets.

So while it’s something you can overcome, you only tend to do that with experience. That’s often something people aren’t willing to stick with long enough to make a real difference. But it’s something that you should definitely do if you want to be successful in any trading market.

The post Why is Betfair trading simple, but not easy? appeared first on Betfair trading blog | Expert advice from Professional Betfair trade.