The last two test matches I have had bets on have both produced wins, but I made bloody hard work of how to make money on them both and ended up taking risks way beyond what I ever intended to, and in hindsight they were both unnecessary risks.
Starting with England V South Africa, in the few days pre match I thought the draw looked a bit short online. I believe this was down to concerns with the weather, so with this in mind and the weather forecast improving I laid the draw with a view to it drifting with the weather situation starting to improve.
By Thursday morning what I expected had happened and I was in a position to green out and take a small profit before a ball was bowled. I instead chose to partially hedge out and leave myself with basically an even money lay of the draw.
I was happy with this as I fancied a result, don’t know why given the wicket, but it was just a hunch I had.
But come Saturday morning and instead of just leaving my bet to run I started trading, trying to be a smart arse and anticipate market swings and an
England fight back. All I succeeded in doing was getting my book in to a bit of a mess.
By Sunday I had built up a bit of a loss. I decided to spread my potential loss 50/50 on SA and the draw. I expected that
England might crumble though, so with this in mind I switched my losses onto the draw later in the day, leaving a scratch on SA.
Then as England wickets started to fall, I topped my SA bet up to win a couple of percent of betting bank, only problem was that by this stage about 30% of my betting bank was liable if the match ended up a draw.
In the end I got out of it with a small win, but with hindsight I could have made things a lot easier for myself. I could have actually pocketed the amount I ended up winning, risk free from my initial pre match trade.
The other game I traded was West Indies V New Zealand. Now I know the Sir Viv Richards Stadium hasn’t much of a history and so is a hard pitch to judge, but I did expect that with Narine in West Indies side that there could be a late collapse if New Zealand ended up batting on Day 5.
As it turned out, NZ did collapse on Day 5, but it was more down to the bowling of Kemer Roach instead. Anyway, my match plan was to wait until Day’s 4 and 5 and see how things stood.
At the end of (I think it was) Day 2, I did back the draw as I believed it would shorten during the night with the prospect of rain, and it did, so I got out first thing in the morning.
This bit of green I had on the draw should have been my funds used to lay the draw late on Day 4 and early on Day 5, when the market seemed to completely over react to a couple of NZ partnerships.
But due to my impatience, I had already had a couple more dabbles in the market and had left my self with a massive red on the draw. So when the draw shortened I found myself digging my hole a bit deeper, until eventually I ended up with about 60% of my bank liable if the game ended in stalemate.
Luckily a couple of quick NZ wickets fell just before lunch on Day 5, allowing me to get back most of my red on the draw and leave me with again an even money lay of the draw, which I was more than happy with as I expected Windies to win from this position.
Again, more risk than needed was taken trading this game. It is a bit of a dilemma when to pull the trigger and get involved, but in hindsight patience was the key in this test match and I always expected it could be profitable to wait until Day’s 4 and 5, so why I got involved before I’ll never know.
With regard to England V SA, I think I tried to be too smart. But again, it is hard to know when to get in and when to get out. Maybe more caution is needed, or maybe I need to operate with smaller stakes while I try to learn to read markets better.
It is pretty easy to make 2-3% (of betting bank) profits on test matches, maybe I need to lower my expectations and take more modest profits, instead of going for bigger wins? That is a blog post in itself for another day.
Onto the 2nd test between
England and SA, and history tells us that Headingley is a result wicket, with no draw on this ground since 1996.
There is some weather about, so caution is needed, but I do think that if anything in the region of 350 plus, overs get bowled, that it should be a result here. Conditions are likely to suit seam bowlers, and both sides are strong in this department.
The draw is already on the drift as I write this, 2.70 is currently just disappearing in the lay column. I do believe the draw will come in at some stage during this match, so patience could be rewarded, but waiting could result in missing the boat as an overcast day on Thursday could result in carnage if there is a full-ish days play.
So I either lay the draw now, or I sit tight and risk seeing someone maybe get bowled out on Thursday and the draw price disappear in smoke.
I’m going to sit on my hands in the
West Indies test and see how the game develops.