Taking A Stop Loss Correctly


I am still recovering from my shingles and it will take some more time, than I expected. I am not trading these days, which is really disappointing during a grand slam tournament.

However, I take the time to rethink about my first trades of the year. The most annoying trade for me was in the match Wozniacki v Dokic. I backed Wozniacki @1.32 during the 2nd set when score was 3-1 for Dokic. I expected odds on Wozniacki @1.45, if she loses the 2nd set, but the odds drifted to 1.75, when she lost the 2nd set 1-6.

The first major mistake I made was not defining a stop loss mark, when I backed Wozniacki. I agree with many other traders, you need to know your stop loss mark when you put on a trade. So the question is:
How to define your stop loss mark correctly?

My trading is based on the knowledge about odds moving. When I put on a trade I can not say who will win the match, but I can say if there is a value for me of odds movement, e.g. in certain situations I know the odds will move only a few ticks lower, but there is a high probability that the odds will raise. If I can identify such a situation I will put on a trade, because more often than not the odds will move in my favour and on a long term view the losses will be smaller than my winnings.

During the match Wozniacki v Dokic I had two (maybe more) options to define my stop loss mark:

  1. I take the loss, if Wozniacki loses the 2nd set.
  2. I take the loss, if the odds on Wozniacki drift to 1.46 (because that were the odds I expected on Wozniacki, if she loses the 2nd set).

Let’s do a little calculation:

  1. Back Wozniacki €50@1.32, Lay Wozniacki €37.71@1.75
    Total loss each way: –€12.28
  2. Back Wozniacki €50@1.32, Lay Wozniacki €45.20@1.46
    Total loss each way: –€4.80

The total loss in the first case is very much higher, than the total loss in the 2nd case. The question now is, which method is the better one?
The odds during a tennis match can move dramatically, even in a service game. If the score in a service game is 0*-30 I think my 1st stop loss mark would be reached and I had to take the stop loss, even if the score would turn to 2-3*.

Generally I have more winning trades, than losing trades, so if I can apply a rule, that I take a stop loss, when the total loss is equal to the total possible win.
For the match Wozniacki v Dokic it means:

Back Wozniacki €50@1.32:
Total possible profit: +€16.00
Stop loss market: –€16.00, which is equal to a lay Wozniacki €34@1.94

Generally there is no need to wait until this stop loss market is reached. I think it is more a maximum loss mark. If you can identify earlier, that your trade does not pay off, you do not have to wait for the stop loss mark, you can take the red earlier. In the match Wozniacki v Dokic I should have made it each way red, when Dokic won the 2nd set and odds on Wozniacki moved to 1.75, because I have the rule not to trade during a deciding set.

What’s the conclusion for me now?

  • I will define my stop loss mark before I put on a trade.
  • The maximum stop loss is equal to the possible profit of the trade.

It is important to mention that the possible profit is not the profit you would gain, if would let the trade run as a bet. I will explain this:
Very often I back the favourite, if he loses the first set, but the stats are relative equal, e.g.:

Pre match odds: Player A: 1.52, Player B: 2.9
If player B wins the first set, the odds would be:
Player A: 3.00, Player B: 1.51.
I would close the trade, if player A wins the second set and odds would move to: Player A: 1.55, Player B: 2.80.
So the possible profit would be:
Lay Player B €37@1.51,
Lay Player A €36.04@1.55
Total profit: +€17.17
So the maximum loss is –€17.17 and not –€37.00, which is the possible profit, if you let the trade run as a bet.

I am not sure, if this method is the best method to take a stop loss, but I think this method is more adjusted to a specific trade, than a static stop loss mark like a number of ticks or a defined amount of money.

Would be nice to read some comments about this issue.

All the best and stay healthy!

Cheers, Loocie


Australian Open Day 6


yesterday was day 6 of the Australian Open 2009 and I traded the following matches:
yesterdayI made no mistakes, but the trades did not pay off.

During the last few days I felt sick. Yesterday I visited the doctor and he said I came down with a varicella zoster infection.
I will not trade until I am healthy again. I think trading without a clear mind can be dangerous for your bankroll. There is no need to rush.

Stats so far:
Total loss yesterday: –6.89
Total profit this month: +23.31

Stay healthy!

Cheers, Loocie


Australian Open 2009 Day 5


today was not my best day.
todayI lost my patience during the match Wozniacki v Dokic. I could not accept a loss and traded during the 3rd set. It is really disappointing how I lost the control in this match.
The only good thing during the trading day was my decision during the match Kleybanova v Ivanovic. I did not trade during the 3rd set. I thought Ivanovic would win this match, but she did not and I did not lose money with gambling in a deciding set.

Stats so far:
Total loss today: –15.71
Total profit this month: +30.20

Cheers, Loocie


Australian Open 2009 Day 4


it is day 4 of the Australian Open 2009. Again plenty of matches, but again I could not identify many trading opportunities. Many favourites won their matches in straight sets without big odds movements. There are also some favourites I fancied pre match to win, i.e. Gonzalez or Verdasco, but I do not want to put on a back bet pre match @1.15 or something else, especially not in a best of five match.
I identified a trading opportunity in the following match:

Schnyder v Razzano
schnyder_razzanoPre match odds: Schnyder: 1.80, Razzano: 2.20
I fancied Razzano to take at least one set. I got a lay bet matched when score was 2-1* 40-15 and Schnyder was serving 20€@2.14, which is a back of Razzano @1.88. Razzano made the break and won the first set 6-3 and I made it each way. I am not sure, if it was again too early, maybe I cut my win again. I did not want to waste the profit at this time, but I know I need to improve my trading behaviour at such moments. What to do, if things go your way? Should I wait until Schnyder fights back? (She did not, but I am sure she would have done, if I let the trade open.) That’s a kind of prejudice: If I let the trade open, it will go against me and if I close the trade and make it each way, it will go straight to 1.01.
Maybe the question is not to let it run or close the trade, maybe the question is how you handle this in general. Jimmakos, the author of Jimmakos.com wrote a very interesting article about greening up in Betfair.
I am not a friend of a high variance in my bankroll, so greening up is essential for me. In the match above I made it each way, when the score was 5-3 and Schnyder was serving. Odds on Razzano were around 1.42. If she wins the set odds would move only to 1.35 (if Schnyder holds her serve), so I only would gain 7 more ticks. Razzano is not a very consistent player, so should I wait for this 7 ticks or should I lock in the profit?

Schnyder v Razzano 3-6, 1-6

Stats so far:
Total profit today: +7.92
Total profit this month: +45.91

Cheers, Loocie


Australian Open 2009 Day 3


today I traded the following matches:

Safina v Makarovasafina_makarovaPre match odds: Safina: 1.06, Makarova: 17.50
It was not good trading. I was every time one the wrong side, but the good thing was, that I recognized this and I scratched the trade. I decided to stay away from this match.

Safina v Makarova 6-7, 6-3, 6-0 

Dokic v Chakvetadze
dokic_chakvetadzePre match odds: Dokic: 1.55, Chakvetadze: 2.8
I expected this match to be a three setter with a little advantage for Dokic, because she played in front of the home crowed. Dokic won the first set 6-4, but I did not layed her, because stats of Chakvetadze were not that good.
When score was 6-5* and Chakvetadze was serving I applied a free lay (or free back) on Dokic Back 50€@1.36.
Here are the stats before this game:
dokic_chakvetadze_2nd_set_6_5_stats Odds would only move to 1.55, if Chakvetadze could hold her serve, so I was risking 5-6€ to gain 18€, if Dokic makes the break and wins the match. This in mind with 48% receiving points of Dokic, I think it was a good decision.
Chakvetadze won this service game relative easily with two points on second serve (stats showed, that she only won 1/7 points on 2nd serve during the 2nd set so far).
I made it each way red, when Chakvetadze equalized to 6-6 and did not gamble in the tie break.
It was a good trade, although I lost money.

Dokic v Chakvetadze 6-4, 6-7, 6-3

During the first three days I did not have a really good trade with a decent profit, but also I did not have a big loss so far.
Hopefully my patience pay off.

Stats so far:
Total loss today: -5.00
Total profit this month: +37.99

Cheers, Loocie


Australian Open 2009 Day 2


today was the 2nd day of Australian Open 2009 and I traded the following matches:

K Bondarenko v A Radwanska
radwanska_k_bondarenkoPre match odds: K Bondarenko: 15.00, A Radwanska: 1.07
I fancied Radwanska to win this match. Bondarenko made an early break and I backed Radwanska 50€@1.23. She fought back, but could not take the lead, so I had to scratch the trade.
Bondarenko won the 1st set 7-6 and the statistics showed, that there was a high probability of an equalizer from Radwanska:
stats_1st_set_radwanska_k_bondarenkoI backed Radwanska 37€@1.6 at the start of the 2nd set. Radwanska was not playing their best tennis, but she got the lead in the 2nd set with 3-1*. I minimized risk with a lay Radwanska 10€@1.33 and when score was 5-3 and deuce I minimized risk with a lay of Radwanska. Radwanska looked like she would not take this match very serious. She made many unforced error and I made it each way when score was 5-4*. Statistics (at 5-4* in 2nd set) showed that this was a good decision:
stats_12nd_set_5_5_radwanska_k_bondarenko Both were able to win the 2nd set and did not want to gamble.

K Bondarenko v A Radwanska 7-6, 4-6, 6-1

Cipolla v Tursunov
cipolla_tursunovI watched the odds during the 3rd set. I got both players matched below 1.9 and made it each way.
General there are so many matches at the same time, so liquidity is not very good in some matches.

Cipolla v Tursunov 4-6, 6-2, 7-6, 7-5

Stats so far:
Total profit today: +10.97
Total profit this month: +42.99

Cheers, Loocie


Start Of Australian Open 2009


the Australian Open 2009 started this night and I traded the following matches:

Ginepri v Berdychginepri_berdychI only made a pre match trade to be able to watch this match via Betfair Live Video, but it did not work. Betfair had technical problems with their live video feed.

Ginepri v Berdych 6-4, 6-4, 6-3 

Rybarikova v Zvonareva
rybarikova_zvonarevaPre match odds: Rybarikova: 10.00,  Zvonareva: 1.11
Zvonareva was clear favourite, but Rybarikova made an early break and I backed Zvonareva 50€@1.22. Zvonareva fought back and was leading 4-2 and odds on her dropped only to 1.13, which was a crazy price: Two ticks higher than her pre match odds and she was leading the match with a break.
When Rybarikova equalized to 4-4 I got a lay bet matched on Zvonareva 50€@1.15. When score was 5-4* and Zvonareva serving I got a back of 9€ matched @1.37 and I minimized risk when Rybarikova was leading 6-5* and Zvonareva was serving. I was patient and made no mistakes, which was a good start into the Australian Open for me.

Rybarikova v Zvonareva 7-6, 6-0

Muller v Lopez
muller_lopezPre match odds: Muller: 2.75, Lopez: 1.53
I did not expect to trade this match, but I followed the odds in this market. At the beginning of the 3rd set Lopez was leading 2-0* and I got a lay on Muller 20€@2.32 (which is a back of Lopez @1.76) matched. Odds on Lopez at this moment was 1.54.
I layed Lopez 10€@1.6 to have a 2.1 bet on Lopez when the real odds were 1.6. When score was 0-30 on Lopez’ serve I scratched the trade to avoid a loss.

Muller v Lopez 6-3, 7-6, 4-6, 4-6, 16-14

Kleybanova v Arvidsson
kleybanova_arviddsonPre match odds: Kleybanova: 1.38, Arvidsson: 3.60
I fancied Kleybanova to win. I missed a really good trading opportunity, when score was 5-3* and Kleybanova was serving: A lay of Arvidsson @1.76 was available which was a very good price, because odds would not move very much, if Arvidsson win the 1st set.
Kleybanova fought back and won the 1st set 7-5 and odds on her dropped to 1.15.
During the 2nd set I started to gamble. I was so disappointed that I missed that opportunity during the 1st set. That was such a stupid mistake. I am glad I could reduce the loss to 33ct.

Kleybanova v Arvidsson 7-5, 7-5

Dokic v Paszek
dokic_paszek Again I only made a small trade to be able to watch this match via Betfair Live Video.

Dokic v Paszek 6-2, 3-6, 6.4 

Stats so far:
Total profit today: +6.29
Total profit this month: +32.02

Cheers, Loocie

Do Not Lay Bjoerndalen


on Saturday I traded the Men’s 10km sprint in biathlon. It was a costly lesson to learn, that this market does not suit my style of trading.

I was not very patient and entered the market when there was not reason for doing that.

It was also not easy to estimate the finishing time of Bjoerndalen. Pursuit and mass start are easier to trade because the biathletes have to shoot four times, not only twice like in sprint.

While typing this blog entry I am watching the Australian Open 2009. I will update later this day.

Stats so far:
Total loss Saturday: –18.40
Total profit this month: +25.73

Cheers, Loocie


Other People’s Money


it is actually one week before a grand slam tournament, so I do not take very much risk when trading. Often I am not sure about the motivation of the players. Only if there is a really good opportunity I put on a trade.
This morning I had such an opportunity during the following match:

Govortsova v Pironkovagovortsova_pironkovaPre match odds: Govortsova: 2.68, Pironkova: 1.58
I fancied Pironkova to win this match, but both players are not very consistently, so I want to take profit whenever I could. 
Pironkova started to serve and I put on a Lay of Govortsova 37€@2.0. Very often it happens that other punters overreact on a 0-15 or 0-30 so I wanted to take advantage of it. When score was 1-0* and Govortsova started to serve I watched on my BettingAssistant and the bet was matched.
price govortsovaI was grateful about the gift and made it each way. Maybe again too early, but I was not sure about Pironkova’s motivation for this match.

I know it is other people’s money and I only got it because an other punter made a mistake, but I think it is not my fault. Every punter should take responsibility for his actions and try to apply rules to avoid such mistakes. I think mostly such mistakes occur, if you try to take short positions.

Cassini, the blog author of Green All Over wrote a blog entry about morality of gambling and I agree with him:
”…As I said before, it's up to the individual to control themselves - no one else. It really is quite pathetic when people do not take responsibility for their own actions…”

Govortsova v Pironkova 1-6, 2-6

Stats so far:
Total profit today: +8.81
Total profit this month: +44.13

That’s it for now. Be careful when clicking a button on betting software.

Cheers, Loocie


Trading Biathlon


today I traded the mass start of women’s biathlon in Oberhof (Germany).
All went fine and I could add some more profit to the pot.

Stats so far:
Total profit today: +12.63 (gross 13.30)
Total profit this month: +35.32

Cheers, Loocie


DEG Metro Stars v Augsburger Panthers


yesterday Muxor and me had a VIP invitation for the match DEG Metro Stars v Augsburger Panthers in the German Ice Hockey League. Food and drinks for free. Here are some impressions:

Final result: DEG Metro Stars v Augsburger Panthers 4-2

(Click on the images to enlarge.)

Cheers, Loocie


Start Of The Tennis Season


the tennis season has already started with ATP and WTA tournaments. Many players have their first match of the season, so mostly I am only watching the matches to get a feeling about the fitness and improvements of the players, but I also traded some matches:

Ivanovic v Vinci
ivanovic_vinciPre match odds: Ivanovic: 1.06, Vinci
When Roberta Vinci was leading 4-2 in the first set and Ivanovic was serving I backed Ivanovic 50€@1.34. Ivanovic hold her service and odds dropped to 1.14, so I layed Ivanovic with 25€@1.14 to minimize risk. When Ivanovic was leading 6-5 I made it each way @1.08, which was a wise decision, because Ivanovic lost the first set and odds on her moved to 1.48. 
Ivanovic v Vinci 6-7, 7-5, 6-1
Total profit this match: +10.02

Mathieu v Nishikori
mathieu_nishikoriPre match odds: Mathieu: 1.91, Nishikori: 2.08
I missed one trading point, when Mathieu was leading 3-0 and odds on him dropped to 1.35. Nishikori fought back and odds raised to 1.9 on Mathieu.
When Mathieu won the first set I layed him 50€@1.3, because I expected Nishikori to take a set. I watched this match via Betfair live video and I saw Nishikori was asking for a medical timeout,so I scratched the trade.
Mathieu v Nishikori 6-3, 6-4
Total profit this match: +0.37

Nadal v Monfilsnadal_monfils Pre match odds: Nadal: 1.1, Monfils: 10.5
I watched this match via Betfair live video. Monfils played really well and won the first set 6-4. Odds on Nadal raised to 1.6.
When Monfils was 2-1 leading and Nadal was serving I layed Nadal 37€@1.9 because Monfils dominated the match and put really pressure on Nadal. At 2-1* and Advantage Monfils I layed him 20€@1.7 to minimize risk. Later I made it each, but I think it was too early.
Nadal v Monfils 4-6, 4-6
Total profit this match: +10.91

I also traded two NFL matches, but I could not make a decent profit. Scratched both matches:
Total profit NFL: +1.39

It is a good start into the new trading year. I missed some trading points, but I kept cool and followed all my trading rules.

Stats so far:
Total profit this month: +22.69

That’s it for now. Be lucky, if you are trading!

Cheers, Loocie


Warming Up With Paper Trading


today the final of the Capitala World Tennis Championship took place and I used this event to do some paper trading for warming up for the new tennis season. I did not want to use real money, because it is only an exhibition event.


Pre match odds: Nadal: 1.6, Murray 2.62

Murray made the break and score was 3-1* 0-30 and odds of 1.56 on Murray were available. This was a really good trading point, because odds would not move very much lower, even if Murray would win the first set.

Nadal fought back and could equalise to 4-4. Odds on Nadal now available at 1.7. In this situation I would make it each way, because everything could happen now and there is no need to waste profit.

Bets so far:

3-1* 30-0: Lay Murray 37€@1.56
4-4: Lay Nadal 34€@1.71


Murray made again the break and won the first set 6-4, odds on him dropped to 1.5.

Now I would make a Back of Nadal with 30% of the profit, because I expected Nadal to take at least one set, so stats are now:


Bets so far:

3-1* 0-30: Lay Murray 37€@1.56
4-4: Lay Nadal 34€@1.71
6-4, 0-0: Back Nadal 4.5€@3

Early in the 2nd set Nadal was a break behind and odds on Murray dropped to 1.13. Nadal fought back and won the 2nd set 7-5.

I have a rule, that there is no trading in deciding sets, so I would make it each way with a Lay Nadal 8€@1.65.


Bets so far:

3-1* 0-30: Lay Murray 37€@1.56
4-4: Lay Nadal 34€@1.71
6-4, 0-0: Back Nadal 4.5€@3
6-4, 5-7, 0-0 Lay Nadal 8€@1.65

Total paper profit: +16.78€

Murray v Nadal 6-4, 5-7, still playing while typing this

This was a good warm up for me. Hopefully I can have such good trades during the next weeks when a couple of tournaments start.

That's it for now!

Cheers, Loocie


Review And Preview


We started the blog in the mid of March, but I already started trading with the intention of a serious background at the beginning of the year.

I made one of the biggest mistake when starting trading and listened to others advices for backing and laying selections which cost me a lot money. The only knowledge I got from this person was that there is money to be made at betting exchanges and very often you can identify situations inplay when the price is wrong.

I started to take responsibility for the trades I put on, but I made too many mistakes. Often I only layed the winner of the first set in tennis, did not take a stop loss or forced too many trades.

In March Muxor and me started this blog with the intention to keep a diary about our trades and thoughts.

I started trading in March with a trading bank of about 100€. I only invested a bank of 100€ because I was not very confident with my trading skills.

I learned that the followings things are essential, when trading sport events:

  • Research any event you plan to trade
  • Apply risk management rules to protect your bank
  • Track your trading results
  • Always ask "What if...?" when you put on a trade

Most important is, that I learned to be more organized when trading.

Here is an overview of my progress:


I made +€156.48 with a starting bank of €100.

The profit is not the greatest, but it is a good result for me as a beginner in sports trading.


What to expect from 2009?

Most important for me is to apply all my rules I identified during 2008. I will calculate the stake sizes at the beginning of every month depending on my bank. My actual bankroll is €256.48, but I will reset it to €250 for easier calculation, so my stake sizes for January 2009 are the following:


My stop losses:

Maximum loss limit per event: 25€ (10% of bankroll)
Maximum loss limit per day: 50€ (20% of bankroll)

How to measure the trading? Good trading for me means applying all my rules, but I need to set myself a target. My target for 2009 is to produce a net profit of €1000, so at the end of 2009 my trading bank should be €1250 or higher. I will adjust my stake sizes month by month, so I think I can reach the target.

At these days tennis season has started with Exhibition Tournaments and The HopmanCup, but I will stay away from these tournaments, because I think the players will not take these matches too seriously. On Monday tennis season kicks off with a couple of tournaments in Auckland, Brisbane, Doha and Chennai, so there is no need to trade these training events. It will be a long season.

All the best!

Cheers, Loocie