You Really Might Need To Change Or Fail As A Betfair Trader

Algorithmic or manual trading? Unsure? Then this article is for you.

I was reflecting back today on the halcyon days of Betfair trading today – before algorithmic trading – and The Original Betfair £200 to £100,000 by Adam Todd because some time ago was the end of another illustrious career in a different market. Andrew Hall, also known as “God”, had to shut down his Astenbeck Master Commodities Fund II Ltd. after suffering a 30% loss in funds. For more than a decade the British-born oil trader had bet long and bet big that crude prices could only go higher.

Andrew lost 500M of investors money this year before he finally shut down the fund. Big numbers.

The fact is that algorithmic systems have increasingly come to dominate the oil market and, increasingly, that is happening on Betfair. It had to happen. If you want to carry on trading manually then this article is for you.

Some professional traders like Caan Berry continue to trade daily profitably but others are now only considering the InPlay markets where the market is less efficient. But even Caan accepts that it has become increasingly challenging to trade on Betfair pre race.

Sadly, in my opinion, Andrew Hall was in the market with a noughties mindset while it completely changed in front of him. There are still new people entering the market having studied hundreds of outdated free videos on YouTube hoping to turn a profit with ideas that simply do not work any more.

The key lesson for anyone who trades is to understand that markets are not static environments. Their structure changes all the time and it is the trader’s job to constantly question his underlying model of analysis to make sure it’s in alignment with the current reality of trade. The single most dangerous word in trading is – ALWAYS. As in market’s always do this…etc. That is a straight path to failure.

Betfair markets teach us to be humble and mentally flexible every day.

Reading about Andrew’s demise which he blames on algorithmic systems it is clear he never adapted to this new market. Please don’t make the same mistake as a Betfair trader.

Sun Tzu once said, “He who knows when he can fight and when he cannot, will be victorious.” This is perhaps some of the greatest advice that we can absorb as traders. Very often we trade not to win but satisfy our ego. Taking on the world, or the market is a romantic idea that we’ve all been taught, but in Betfair trading, that is a very expensive way to conduct your business.

Many traders see the Betfair markets needing more nimble and nuanced trading strategies that have superseded the old mantras.

Personally, most readers will know that I moved to algorithmic  trading models on Betfair many years ago. I saw the writing on the wall even then. I was screwed as a manual trader trading swings. It worked for my first two years but I didn’t have the correct mindset to change. I simply didn’t want to. So I chose to exit and be part of the automated trading model that now dominated Betfair. I’m glad I did. But that’s not to say that manual traders who are faster than me – I am getting on, you know – can’t still earn a good living like Caan. You can. Just don’t expect it to be as easy as you see in the free videos. I would go even further. Pay them no heed. Get serious and invest in yourself.

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All results for the 48,094 Betfair markets traded are here and the charts are here.

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