Friday, 31 October 2014

Month-end round up

Gonna be a busy few weeks ahead, with the Ram Slam tourny on, so will try and tie up, a few loose ends.

Been playing golf, sometimes 3 times a week .. and scores have become regular 93/94/93 .. which normally includes 2-3 lost balls (out of bounds). The driving is an issue - especially early on in the round,when I am not warm - but, there is hope.

Have hit some phenomenal shots (just not enough of them) .. with the highlight, being a v tricky, and long, 452 yard par 4 (stroke 2), albeit downhill. It needs a v straight and long drive, and then a v long second. In previous hits, have never been within 100 yards of the flag, but, one day, I hit a great drive, and a 3 wood, to 2 metres !!

Hopefully the elusive 90 will come next month .. will definitely try.

The stocks markets behaved in the first half of the month, but, although I closed my shorts at a good time, I reopened them, at a bad time, and gave a lot back. The kids recovered all their losses, and are now showing profits of 700 and 200 respectively .. shows what can be done, if u just trade to 1-2% of your bank.

(I forgot to add, WorldStock markets are at all-time highs, or as near as dammit, following the opening of the various candy stores, by 'people in charge')

Anyone who goes long (buys), is, IMHO, certifiable .. at least on a 1 yr basis .. but, as we all know, the market can stay 'wrong' for a long time.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A few good calls

 2 weeks ago, I mentioned in my Blog ..

I am negative of the financial markets, and think the AliBaba IPO, may have marked a top, in the US and UK exchanges. I am aggressively short ..

Well,  we have had some ups, but, many more downs, in the last 2 weeks, and this is working out, real good.

Unfortunately .. or maybe fortunately .. the kids, have turned, respective profits of 700 and 80, into losses of 2000 and 450 .. but, I am happy they are learning.


I played some Poker last night, for the first time in about 8 mths. It was a cash game, 50c/$1, with a high rake, so, it was more relaxing than anything else, but, ran like Bolt, for about an Hr, and finished winning, $400, having cleaned everyone out. No real great hands, just didnt lose many. Towards the end, small stacks, were putting it in, fairly light :

Seat 1 .. UTG , all, in, for $20
Seat 2, calls for $20
Seat 3, calls for $20 (a fish, I had beaten, relentlessly, last 4 hands - for maybe $80)

I look down, at 4♦, 5♠  .. so call.

Seat 5, also calls .. Big pot ..

Flop comes,  A♥, 4♥, 5♣ ..

Its checked to me, and I bet $45, into a pot, of $100. Seat 1 is All-in, and just Seat 3, calls.

Turn, is 9♠ .. I bet $75, and he calls again.

River, is 2♠, making a board of .. A♥, 4♥, 5♣, 9♠, 2♠ .. anyone with a 3, has a straight, but figure I am good, and bet, $40, to put the fish all-in.

My 2 pair was good .. Happy days.


Am reading an excellent book, on Professional Blackjack .. its a must-read, if into Blackjack/Casinos/etc.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

90 in reach

I played my normal Tuesday four-ball, on a windy day, and wasnt thinking a 90 was remotely possible,as the wind will normally take care of a ball or 2.

Starting on Hole 1, I managed a 5(on a par 4), which wasnt great,as its quite an easy Par 4, but, as I can be a slow starter, was happy.

Hole 2, another uphill par 4, I drove well, hit a good 5 iron and 2 putted for a solid Par.

Hole3, a down hill par 4, I drove into the wind, (short), but hit another glorious 5 iron to 4 metres, and made another solid Par ..

On the 4th hole, the mental side took over.

The 4th hole, is easy, but, has a tree, about 150 metres from the tee, on the right. U can put the ball anywhere-else, and u will be fine .. and most days, if I go right, I am over the tree .. but, thinking about my 90,and intothe wind, I knocked it right behind, and had to chip out sideways ..

Thinking about receovering, I shanked my 3rd, and finished with a lousy 7 .. which put me on the back foot again.

The next 3 holes, my mind wasnt focussed, and shanked 2 more balls .. which, is never good, but, played some good golf after that.

Highlight of the day was the 18th. Normally, its a good drive, a solid 5 iron,and then a 3 wood to the green (which I have landed on twice).

Today, I killed the drive, and hit a lifetime best 5 iron,an absolute mile, leaving me a 9 iron to the pin. I landed this, 1 metre past, and it just rolled off, for an easy chip/putt par.

Good golf .. a 93 .. and the 90 should soon be in reach.

Phil Ivey - Court Judgement

In a judgement that surprised me, the Judge John Mitting found in favour of the casino :

In his ruling, the judge said that the case turned on whether there was cheating: "If Mr Ivey cheated, he is not entitled to recover his winnings. If he did not, he is."

What Mr Ivey and Ms Sun did was to persuade the croupier to turn some of the cards in the dealing shoe to permit them to know that they were or were very likely to be sevens, eights or nines, and in circumstances where she did not realise she had done so - and, if she had, would have immediately stopped play.

The fact that Mr Ivey was genuinely convinced that he did not cheat and that the practice commanded considerable support from others was not determinative of the question of whether it amounted to cheating.

Mr Ivey had gained himself an advantage and did so by using a croupier as his innocent agent or tool.

It was not simply taking advantage of error on her part or an anomaly practised by the casino for which he was not responsible.

He was doing it in circumstances where he knew that she and her superiors did not know the consequences of what she had done at his instigation.

He concluded: "This is, in my view, cheating for the purpose of civil law."

This will be an expensive time for Mr Ivey. He has to pay all his costs, which probably run to £200k, and (maybe) all or a good portion of Crockfords costs.

There is also doubt now, whether he can get high level sponsorships (should he need them),as, his value as a top-class poker player/representative, may, arguably, be tainted.

I am not sure,the UK Gambling Commission would look to sue him as a cheat .. so, the case will probably just lie on the books - but, apart from the money, it now issues a whole can of worms, as to what 'contract' a pro-gambler enters in-to, when he manufactures an edge.

The case seemed to revolve around the way, Mr Ivey entered the contract to play :

"The club argues the use of edge-sorting is not a legitimate strategy.

Genting Casinos UK, which owns Crockfords, says Mr Ivey's conduct defeated the premise of the game, meaning there was no gaming contract"

In British law, the statutes are written differently to those in the US .. and it will be interesting to see what happens, to a similar case, being brought by a US casino (The Borgata).

The full detail of the judgement has yet to be released, but, it may mean, pro-gambers in the UK, now have a judicial precedent to beat, if they resort to law.

It appears My Ivey bet small, when his edge was low, as the cards were being set-up (and his edge was low), but by betting big, when he had a v big edge, that amounted to cheating.

Casinos, now have another edge to beat customers.. and I for one, would be reluctant to give them a shot at my money. 

Other edge-sorters, or Advantage Players,may now be comprimised, due to the sheer public nature of the case.

Some interesting reading :

Saturday, 4 October 2014

The Ivey 'Edge Sorting' case

This has finally reached the High Court ..

I think he gets the money .. but, we should see in a week or so ..

Some more detail, about what edge sorting, actually was ..

The quest for 90

Sorry if this bores u, but, I am getting closer.

Having shot 97/97, the last 2 times, on a good day, with little wind, 90 is now within my reach, on a suitable course.

The problem is, my local course, has the normal 4, par 3's, but, at least 2 of them are super tricky, where its just as easy to score 7, as 3 or 4.

On Friday, I rocked up, on a gorgeous day (I cant help taking pics) ..

Anyway, I started with a fair run, as the 1st 8 holes, don't include a par 3, and I was bang on target, for a 87 or so .. miracle golf for me.

The 1st Par 3, is a 120 yarder .. which in 8 attempts, I have previously lost 12 balls. This time, I nailed it !! a 8 iron, 3 yards from the flag .. (left putt short) .. but made par, and I really fancied my chances.

The next par 3, is a 155 yarder, with OOB, short, left, and right. I put the first ball, Out of Bounds, short, and the second, OOB left .. head down.

Played the next, par 4 fine, but, next hole is a 165 yard par 3, with OOB, everywhere. Lost 2 more balls, and my card was in pieces.

Finished with a 94, .. what might have been etc .. but, definitely got something to work on.

Trading Horses -Past and Present

I have had a few requests to put some detail around the topic, and as I am currently in the middle of a power cut, and have a back-up light/laptop battery, I will.

I need to preface this, to say, I dont actually trade horses any more, either remotely or on-course, but, still know enough,(I think), to have a decent go.

The current situation :

Trading rooms do exist on many racecourses in the country - but, they are not called such. Normally, a pro-trader will have secured a Box, for the whole season,paying .. £300-£1000 per raceday, depending on size/meetng etc. Some tracks have allowed many boxes, others, just 1 or maybe 2, in return for 'sponsorship'.

This Box normally has v good internet fitted, and tables are brought in, so, traders have decent workplaces. (You pay the internet bills etc)

Normally, there would be 4-8 people to a box, but, sometimes, it can be more, and recently, it can be less, as supply has outstripped demand.

What typically happens, is that the Box has 4 regulars, who share lots of boxes. Each trader, goes to the course, armed with 1 or maybe 2 laptops, a portableTV screen, various connection cables, and ancilliary splitters, to share the TV signal/internet.

This sounds extreme, but, u get used to it.

The cost, for the day, would be £100-£200, which normally includes entry to the course.

For this, u get the live TV picture. Its anywhere between 1 sec and 3 secs ahead of home users .. so, maybe its worth it. (The laptop u bring to the course, normally has your prefered one-click betting software on it) - so, maybe the 1 sec advantage, is worth the money .. a lot depends on your style of trading.

The problem is, by going to the course, u are just working 7 races a day, where as , if u stayed at home, u might work 40 - and the days of laying fallers etc, are largely in the past.

Video feeds on the internet are getting better and better, especially as internet capability improves. Hopefully, video will be available within a few yrs, which is only slightly behind live, and its an equal playing field, which may help improve the 'in-play' liquidity, which seems to have been dropping.

Because Box leasing has become important to a racecourse from a monetary standpoint, traders who have not paid a daily fee, are not allowed to work from the stands, and security will normally give 'freeloaders' grief .. not always, a lot depends on the track.

Phone callers are still permitted, and, often u will see people with ladders, at the furlong, or even 2 furlong pole, as, its a great place to get a side on view, no-one else has, and call it back to someone .. maybe auto-traded.

Some tracks police this activity, some dont .. they can argue it affects their public liability etc, to have people wandering down the course, miles from the grandstand.

Mobile 4g, has meant internet speeds at a lot of course has become v good, and for a while, people tried to 'steal' the pictures, having facetime cameras, pointed at the big screen, and having it sent back to a distribution point. This is illegal .. as u are infringing copyright etc .. but, it may still exist, in some form.

Its all a question of balance, and what u can get away with. The daily costs, together with Prem Charge, has made the proposition marginal, for average traders. Good traders, will still find ways to win .. some v good ways.

Off-course trading Rooms

One of the first, if not the absolute first, was Cardiff, run by John Lovell, who tragically got killed, driving home from the shop.

It had racetech feeds, obtained via a motorised satelite dish, which in the v early days, were not scrambled. These feeds were gold .. the value of sitting in a high-spec shop, watching a picture, that was at most, 1 sec behind live, was just too big of an edge, and almost anyone could make money. The daily charge, of £50 or whatever, was cheap. (some days, I would commute by TAXI, from cardiff to Birmingham, as the late train, went at 7pm or whatever, and a taxi got me 2-4 extra races. As the e-v per race, was probably £500, it was a no brainer.

As on-course rooms became more widely known/used, the edges left, for the people off-site, became less, and people who found they could win, were now, failing. Some people still prefer to work off-course, but, certainly, the off-site exchanges are diminishing (especially as Betfair no longer encourage them - they used to give comm rakebacks (I think)) and the racetech feeds, are largely gone, but, its still possible someone has the encryption codes .....

The Past

Year 1, was thought to be the Wolverhampton Hotel, but, I was trading via hand-helds, at least 6 mths before that (from memory - its a long time ago).

In those days, 2g was often the best signal u could get a course - so, phone traders often called back to someone at home, who would execute the instructions.

Being one of the first, if not, the absolute first people to work on track, with mobile devices, was obviously, pretty lucrative. There are many stories .. but, they are in my book (not published - yet). If I get a chance, I will maybe start a storytime thread.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

No golf .. getting cabin Fever

My weekly golf on Tues got a total turnout of 1 person, including me,

That's a low number, considering it can go as high as 40, but, maybe the rain/wind/lightning put them off --  Pussies !!

The course needs the rain, so, as the forecast is much better for Friday, expecting a bumper turnout.

I have posted 2 consecutive 94's, which includes 3 lost balls on both cards .. mainly on the par 3's,which are really tricky, and have a high percentage likelihood to lose your ball, if u don't find the green.

Playing twice a week, definitely helps your game, and overall mental state, and I really missed not playing.

I attach pics of game on the course .. (from a previous day, when it was nicer)

Filled the time, with yet more T20 fodder, which, I am finding a child like puzzle to solve. Its inconceivable to me, how anyone can actually lose on these games .. they are so predictable, and yet the market, at many times, gets it so wrong.

I continue to blast away on Twitter, which, people seem to like, as I get many comments/useful info. That all helps, but, the main reason I do it, is to keep me focused, and its working.

I have started some spread betting financial accounts for the nippers .. After 1 mth :

Me -- + £1100

Number 1 son (14) ..  + £765

Number 2 son (11) ..  -£45

They place trades on my accounts, via their phones, and take profits, when they feel like it. I am giving some general advice, and oddly, hope they lose, so they understand more .. but, the financial's have also been fairly predictable. As I said a few posts back, I am normally looking to short .. and its going my way.

I have been contributing more to some general gambling forums, and it just stuns me, just how poorly prepared a lot of people are.  There is no school for gamblers, and its a massive market. Its always a dilema, how to point novices in the right direction .. without sounding high-handed etc. Its not easy to start anything, especially something, which u hope to make money at .. and paper trading, has a lot to be said for it - not that, I could ever do it.