I keep going in-play​……..

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No not me,!!!!!!

“I keep going in-play” is something I read on a daily basis. I have some thoughts on this and if you wish to continue reading I am happy to share them with you.
However, i must warn you that you may not like what you read. This post will divide opinion for sure.

One of the things that really sticks me is the tone of the complaint.
“I keep going in play…. It’s not my fault, I can’t help it….. everything is against me…..”
What a load of cock. You can help it, but you do it. Let me give this some “meat”.

I think many who let their trades go in-play, for whatever reason do so not because of lack of discipline, although that is a big issue for many. It’s because they either have NO PLAN, or a lack of belief in their own ability to apply the strategy they have chosen to deploy. Perhaps even that strategy is not working, or they are not applying it as was intended.
But finding something/someone else to blame is always a better option than taking responsibility for yourself isn’t it?

Is it fair to say that in society we live by sets of rules? We learn these rules from birth. Some are fundamental to our safety and well being. Let’s take driving as an example.
Most built-up areas have a 30mph speed limit. Why? It’s to keep us all safe. Now there are times where you could go much faster, maybe 70mph in a 30mph zone. But we don’t. Why not if you could do it?
Because of the consequences of what may happen.
Death, injury, getting caught!
The consequences are all dire and may have life-changing impacts on you and others.
Now I am not trying to say going in-play is a matter of life & death. But the consequences are still significant,

So the question you need to ask yourself is exactly how seriously you are taking trading. Is it a bit of fun? Is it just for an “interest”? If so, then that’s fine, as that is what you are getting.
if it a little more serious or even you are aspiring to maybe build up to trading full time. Then you need to stop and take a cold, hard and long look at yourself and what you are doing.
If you cannot find the self-control to take the loss, no matter how unpalatable the loss is. Then failure is already upon you. The only variables are how long it will be before you give up and how much money it will cost you.
If this is you I implore you to STOP. STOP trading and do some deep thinking. Get some help, get some advice. Book a call with me if you like and talk to me. No charge, no strings and no obligation. https://calendly.com/steve_mg
I may be able to help, I may not. but at least you have made a start by aknoweldging the issue are are taking some action.

We are constantly bombarded by people showing us how great they are at trading, how easy it all is blah, blah, blah.
There are not many of us talking like this are there?

My apologies for using “cock” and “meat” in the same sentence………




Webinar 31st July

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You may know that I hosted a webinar in June. Just some basic principles that I apply to my own trading and I wanted to share.

The webinar was a great success and the feedback I received was overwhelmingly positive. This has inspired me to hold another one.

I have cleared a space in my diary for Wednesday evening 31st July 2019

What I found during the last webinar was the amount of questions that were flying at me. Mostly random. It seems that many of you have a thirst for information.

I would ask that if you wish to take part that you simply subscribe to my email list. Due to the GDPR rules Aweber who host my email subscriptions will send what is known as a opt in email to confirm you want to receive emails from me. I cannot resend these and you will need to confirm once you have subscribed. These will almost always end up in spam, so be warned.

A few days before the webinar I will email my whole mailing list and invite you to register with Zoom for the webinar. Places are limited.

I invite you to email me at steve@itsamugsblog.co.uk with any questions or topic you would like me to discuss. I will do my best to fit as many as I can in. I will as always answer with honesty and a smidgin of humour.

If this is something that interests you. Make sure you are on my mailing list by next weekend 27th July. If you are not sure if you are, simply drop me a line at the above email.

Lets get these questions/ Topics in!

Cheers
Steve

Ask Steve Question

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I have a question from Chris

“If you were starting from scratch in 2019, what steps would you take
i.e. which sports would you trade, how to identify a good educator and
learning about mindset”

So 3 interesting questions, I’ll address them each in turn.

I think the first question is relatively easy for me. I think you have to trade something you are a) passionate about and b) know a little bit about the sport. I don’t think there is anything worse than spending a huge amount of time learning about something you dislike. When you hit tough times, and you will. It is another excuse to give up. So start off with trading a sport you enjoy.

Second question. How do you identify a good educator?
This is and will be a controversial question and answer. As there will be many opinions. This is only mine.
To start with, find someone who specialises in the sport you want to learn. It would be pointless asking me to teach you about football trading when my speciality is Horse Racing. Or even ask me to teach you In Play Racing. I simply do not do it.


The next part is due diligence. Find out what you can about the person in question. Are they credible? What exactly are they offering? Can they supply you with testimonials or references, From real people, not ones they have made up! Will / can they put you in touch with previous or present customers? What is their reputation like? Do they have a track record? Do they offer any support?
Just a little caveat here. Don’t listen to people who tell you how great they are. Listen to OTHER people telling you how great that person is”
If you were having a big extension built on your house, how would you choose your builder? Same piss, different pot.


There is a mostly negative vibe about Betfair Trading education. There is a good reason for that. Some are not very good! Another reason is learning to win consistently, is bloody hard. The constant bombardment by the “look at me ” merchants do not help. The making it look so easy approach raises expectations and you find that many aspiring traders will rock up, expect to spend a day at a course and expect to be at the same level as the trainer.
Not possible. Am I the only one saying this? If so there are more disingenuous fuckers around that I feared. This is why I encourage and offer long term support. It’s no coincidence that the people who stick at it make more money than the ones that go “around the houses” constantly.

Last question: Learning about mindset.
Mindset, or psychology if you like is a tough one. I believe this to be a specialised field that requires specialised guidance. So it is something I don’t say too much about. Other than to impart the bits I do know about.
There is no doubt that one of the key skills you need is discipline and patience. However, the best way to learn these skills is to understand that if you have a process to follow that works, and you trust that process. All you need to do is follow that. Trust The Process. Then it becomes clear that the controlled losses are part of the cost of doing business. They are factored in. Then they become less important and aids disipline.
What i am saying in a nutshell is. If you gain the knowledge to be able to build a little consistancy into your trading, this mindset side of trading suddenly becomes so much easier. There are many things we can work on that help with mindset. Without making it a stand alone subject. Everything you do has an influence on your state of mind.

So some tough questions there. i hope I have answered them. Please comment if you would like to discuss or disagree any of these points.
I would like to make clear that I will not publish any comments that mention other educators about. My points have been made generally based on my observations. If you have purchased educational material from someone and it has not delivered what you hoiped. Please take that up with them. I will not comment on others products I do not have experience of personally.

thanks to Chris for the questions. Please keep them coming

Cheers
Steve

Review of my Workshop

I was both delighted and humbled by this review from someone who I greatly admire. A young lady who had a sparkling career in professional racing. She knows her stuff and is a tremendous asset to our community.

You can read the review here https://www.greenfilly.com/steve-howe-its-a-mugs-game-workshop-review/

I just want to say that I never ask people to write reviews to say positive things about me. That’s not to say I am grateful and humbled when they do!
The reason I have linked this is to give you an impartial view from “the other side of the fence”.

I strongly advise you to follow her and read her blog regularly. She writes beautifully and talks with authority and humour about something she is very passionate about. This Lady is a rising star within our trading community. You read it here first!

You can follow Green Filly on Twitter @filly_green

The blog is https://www.greenfilly.com/blog/

Cheers
Steve

13 years

27th July 2006, exactly 12 months to the day after my Dad passed away was the day that changed everything.
After the best part of 20 years in a factory, I drove out of the gates for the last time. An emotional day, a day full of trepidation but also hope and excitement. I was free at last. Free from the “chains” of a production line, free from an alarm clock. My destiny in my own hands. No boss, No timetable and no limits to what I could do.

Being forced out by redundancy was the best way it could have happened. When you are driving to work, knowing that the amount of money you will earn will almost certainly be less than what trading would make is hard to do. It’s the very best barometer to knowing when it’s time to quit your job.

My plan was to give it 6 months and see where I was. If things started looking iffy, I could get a job. after just 2 weeks it was clear that wasn’t going to be an option. Free to trade every afternoon (and evening) my restraints were lifted and I threw myself into making as much as I could. Just in case.

So July 27th is a bittersweet day. Significant as it “freed” me. But sad as I remember my Dad. One of the last things I remember him saying to me was his advice about my blossoming betting career.
“You wanna pack that betting malarky in Son, it’s a bloody mugsgame

Wish he could see me now.

Ask Steve Question about the accu​racy​ of odds.

I have a really interesting question from Plamen.

 Do you think that the money we see in the last three odds 1 minute before kick-off / at the Betfair / can give us a guideline what are the expectations for the final result?

It’s a known fact that over the long term that Betfair closing odds (or Betfair SP BSP) are highly accurate. But this is something we discussed in the question about overbet runners. LINK

However, in Football there is a more dominant bookmaker. That’s Pinnacle.
Pinnacle claim that if you can beat their opening prices by 1.5 points you win in the long term.

My answer here may seem a bit lazy. But to be perceftly honest, if you can find reliable and well written information from someone who knows more than you about the subject in question. It would be wrong not to bring attention to that.

So first is this article may Pinnacle themselves Market Movement in Betting
The 2nd link is from Football_Data.co.uk Article I though it was very well-argued and very useful.

I hope this helps understand your question. My thanks for asking it.

Cheers
Steve

Persistance​​​/Support/Knowledge

As an established educator of aspiring traders, I am in the privileged position of having met hundreds of traders from every walk of life. From City bankers to emergency service workers, from armed service personnel to mum’s trying to learn to trade and juggle 3 jobs and look after a family.

There are many factors against us while we are trying to learn this difficult skill. Some can be easily overcome. Others not so.

I have a strong reputation for “saying it like it is”. So I have never positioned myself as someone with a magic wand that can miraculously turn you into a pro trader if you spend a day with me.

Now, there are lots and lots of pieces of useful information and hacks I can give you to improve facets of your trading. All have a value, and if implemented will make money. Or at least help you stop losing money.

I realise I have a skill that means I can make something that is pretty difficult to look very easy. I get told this daily. But the truth is. The nuts and bolts of pre-race trading are really not difficult to grasp. I teach them at a workshop, and due to the style of teaching, I am confident that nearly all the attendees understand the signals that drive a market. But this is just the beginning.

For the best chance of success there are a few more ingredients that are needed.

  • Screentime
  • Patience
  • Mental toughness
  • Tenacity
  • Knowledge
  • Persistence
  • Support

I can give you some of these items, but what you have inside is very important, as are constraints on your time.

All of the above are important, but I believe the 3 that you need above all else is knowledge, persistence; That never give up attitude and support. Support from someone who knows what they are talking about and can guide you down that dark and sometimes lonely road.

If you think that the person to help you on this journey is me. You are welcome to book a call with me and discuss what might be best for you. THIS IS NOT A SALES CALL
Just an opportunity to chat with me informally to see where you are at and if I can help you.

You can book 15 minutes of my time free of charge and without obligation,
calendly.com/steve_mg

Ask Steve about Betfair Trading. Overbet Runners

Question from Danny.

“Having recently read the book thinking fast and slow by Daniel Kahneman. I have literally just sat and watched a lot of pre off horse racing markets lately without entering I can’t help think that I see a pattern.
It seems to me that people are just following sheep a lot of the time and just backing for the sake of backing, therefore, horses are completely over backed.
Do you think people back more then they lay so there is an edge in laying over backed horses? I’m sure you can expand on this with your knowledge”.

This is an interesting question from Danny. Sometimes I have a very strong opinion about a certain subject and other times not so much. This is one of the latter. but I am happy to explore this and see if I can help shine some of my experiences on it.

Firstly I wanted to find out a little about the author Daniel Kahneman whom Danny referenced. I have never heard of him, so as always google was my friend. This is what Wikipedia threw up.

Daniel Kahneman is an Israeli-American psychologist and economist notable for his work on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, as well as behavioral economics, for which he was awarded the 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Wikipedia

What I know for sure is that there are many more backers than layers. Laying is a pretty new concept to the masses. so it will come as no surprise that Backers rule. Most horses drift, not because they are being layed. It’s because no one is backing them. There are some horses that are being actively layed. But they are vastly outnumbered by passive drifters.

Let me explore what Danny asked.
If you convert the Betfair starting price to give an implied chance of winning. So 2 would be 100/2 = 50%. A runner in a market at 2 has a 50% chance of winning. The LONG TERM accuracy of this on Betfair is around 99.8%. So if we take the assumption that 50% @ 2.0 win. Then 50% will lose. Where this becomes interesting and will fry your brain. Is what if the percentage is skewed by overbet horses. Runners, that have no right to be a 50% chance as their true odds is 66%? But have been overbet. Or is that accounted for already within the stats? What about front runners? The trend nowadays is for them to attract money based on their running style. It has nothing to do with the chances of actually winning. just the way the run and travel in a race.

I did read something a few years back that backing horses that drifted badly were more profitable than backing steamers. based on bigger odds I guess.

There is a plethora of ifs and buts within this, its fascinating and as Danny suggests may be an angle in it. I am more inclined to think that the in play market has a bigger influence on prices than many realise, and that may be a good place to start. but with something else to consider.

The running style of a horse is sometimes critical to its chances of winning. There are animals that HAVE to lead. If they don’t get an uncontested lead, they sulk and run badly. Does the collective market take this into account when deciding the odds it will start at? You see these uneasy in the market, but then as the race unfolds, and the horses gets his lead, the odds drop more than they should by rights. Is it because the market had to see if the horse got his lead before it was prepared to get the runner to its true odds in play?

The big question is. How do you know if something is overbet or being supported quite rightly into its correct chance of winning?

Over the years I have seen many huge gambles win and seen them lose. I think that this is a topic that is not cut and dried and needs much more study before deciding if it as a viable strategy.

I’d like to thank Danny for his question, I have answered it the best I can. But I would love to hear other thoughts on this. Please comment. We can continue to explore this together


Webinar: Open Invitation

Next Thursday 20th June at 8:00pm I would like to invite you to join me in my 1st “public” webinar. This is something I have never done before. I often conduct webinars for my group of traders in MGW. I have never held one open to all. Details of how to join in will be at the bottom of this page.
Please note that this invitation is open to all and is free

This is a great opportunity for me to reach new people, perhaps people who have not really heard of me, or know what I am about. Most of my YouTube material is becoming dated (I am going to be removing a lot of it soon). A chance to showcase what I do and for some of you guys to get to hear me talk about different aspects of being a Pro Trader, the challenges I have faced, how I overcame them. What works and more importantly, what doesn’t.
I hope I will be able to give you good information, entertain and pass an hour or so with something worthwhile that you can take away. Even if you get just 1 thing that you can implement into your trading, and it makes 5% difference. Then it’s worth the effort, it’s free, so you have nothing to lose (except an hour of your life). You may have to record Emmerdale, and I hope not to run into Love Island……….

What will I be talking about?
I have a few topics that I will be covering. For this webinar, it will be “general” trading advice. I will also hope to answer a few questions too.

I am planning to cover:

  • Your Bank
  • Race Selection
  • Your Trading Operation
  • Expectations
  • Execution
  • Motivation

To be able to participate there are a couple of things you need to do. Firstly is be on my email subscriber list. I will add a subscribe box at the end of this page for you.
On Tuesday evening I will send out an invitation to everyone who is on this list. You will then need to register to join the webinar.
This is completely FREE!

So what is this all about? Why am I doing this?

So “Why”? The cynical bastards amongst you will be wanting to know what I get out of it. If you are thinking that btw. Please don’t bother signing up to come. I am increasingly frustrated with negative people that worry more about what others are getting, losing sight of what they are gaining. I don’t want these people in my life. Simple as that. If you have that attitude you will always struggle to get to where you want to be. I don’t waste my time on people like that anymore.

I do sincerely hope that can join me on Thursday evening.

As part of GDPR you will need to confirm your email to go onto my mail list. make sure you look in your spam folder to find this. it comes almost straight away after you subscribe. Any issues with this. Please get in touch at mugsgame@hotmail.co.uk so I can help you sort it.








 
 
 
 
 

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Scheduling Time

Something I have always (until recently) been crap at doing is managing my time. I always used to rock up and get on with it. This worked fine as I had nothing to do all day but trade. As I have spoken about a lot recently. This has now changed. I have a life to live and other things to do. So my time is always under pressure. I needed a way to deal with this.

I now have a diary, well 2 diaries really. One is electronic called Schedule Once other is a hardbound one from Collins in A4 size. What I do now is allocated blocks of my time. I ONLY engage in the task in my time slot. I turn off everything else. Phone, Social Media, TV etc.

So if on a given day I may have allocated 2 hours to trade between 2:00pm and 4:00pm and maybe a further hour between 7:00 and 8:00pm. So that is when I trade. I focus 100% on this task and blank out everything else. I wish I had done this years ago. I am trading less, but the quality is way higher.

Here is a great example: I love Cheltenham. It is a special week of my year. Even going back to the early 1990’s I would take a week sick from work, Once my gaffer spotted the pattern I had to take 4 days flexible holiday I had every year to cover it. I haven’t missed a Cheltenham race since then. But this year that all changes. On Tuesday I have to be somewhere else. My Mum has a hospital appointment, it’s my responsibility to take her. Now usually I would shirk this and insist that my Brother or Sister had a day off work and I would cover their loss of wages. But that is a shit way of living I am sure you would agree. I want to sit and listen to what the consultant has to say. for myself, trying to get my Mother to explain is always a challenge!

This feels almost liberating. I am free! Now we all know that “real Pro’s” would NEVER miss a Saturday, let alone a day from the festival. Probably means I am a fake eh?

I can pack more into these shorter sessions than I used to. It also means I do not feel guilty about doing other activities. This would work really well for you guys with full-time jobs AND family life to fit in. Don’t flit from one thing to another. If you only have 1 hour to trade. That’s fine. But do ONLY that. The quality of your sessions will show improvement week on week.

Give it a go. You have nothing to lose.

On a side note. I have just 4 places left for my Workshop on 8th April. Please get in touch if you wish to come along. Or just the booking info on this page.https://www.itsamugsblog.co.uk/2016-racing-workshops/