If Your Opening Trade Isn’t a Success – Try Again

One of the things I constant say is that if you open a trade and it hits the point where you decide it is past where you “drew the line”. You should close and take the loss. There HAS to be a point whenever you open a  trade that you have this imaginary line. The more inexperience you have, the less flexible it should be. One one gets it right every single time. But in this type of trading you need to kiss a lot of ugly girls (or boys) before you find a nice one.

Taking a loss is something I am very keen to promote among my Mentorship group. Where many traders go wrong is in their inability to “let go” of a bad trade. If you hang on too long it gets out of control. If your opening position is correct then you loss will always be under control should things go badly.

This race is from Lingfield and a maiden race. There are plenty of runners but not many serious players. The favourite is Felwah and is trading at around 2.36 Highly Excited is at 4.6 and the the next 3 runners are around 11-13. When I first assessed the race I couldn’t see a way in, but eventually talked myself into opening a trade. at 1:10 into the video I open up a back trade at 2.5. It didn’t get completely matched, so i go in again at 2.46 My exit position was 2.54 and a loss of £7.38 for my £246 stake. When it turns against me I try to close but do not get all of the stake matched. This is one of the reasons I do not go in too aggressively in markets like this. Getting money in is usually easy. It’s getting it out at a price you want is the problem. I eventually get it closed at 2.58 and decide immediately to add to the lay as there is definitely some opposition to it from at least 2 other runners. My new exit is back at 2.58, but this is by no means safe. the market here is thin, and the odds can move up and down this part of the range very easily.  I hope the price may bounce after this rapid move, so add in another lay at 2.6, it doesn’t reach this so I move it to 2.64, this gets matched.

Have at look at this graph:

felwah graph mac

Notice the huge amount of volume that I highlight at 2.5. When this sort of massive volume hits the market it can often change the direction of a trend. What we see here is that after an initial change it starts to come back before starting drift again. This may be a legacy of this money.



At 3:33 we have all 4 runners on the ladders near to cross over points. This is significant. There is a surge upwards on Felwah and I want to get some more money matched before it breached the crossover at 3. This was triggered by Highly Excited breaking though at 4.  There is plenty of slack in this book, which means the odds can move without effecting other odds. I decide to add to my trade again. When Highly Excited reverses I decide to take what I have and green up for £21.30. The move on Flawless Pink gained momentum very quickly and dropped very quickly. Highly Excited held it’s own for a while before succumbing to the gamble.

My next series of trades were poor. I had the potential to add another £20+, but managed to lose £8 by waiting too long. This phase of the market was very volatile. There are 30 seconds to go on the race countdown clock. Flawless Pink has bounced off the crossover at 6. It had come a long way in a very short space of time.

There is a big chunk of matched volume gathering at around 3 on Felwah, Flawless Pink is back at the cross over at 6 and it looks like Highly excited isn’t so exciting after all and has sulked off. It’s worth noting that Dire Straits has had some support too and is under 10 now. With 20 seconds to go, i am pretty much back to square one. But I don’t like to go down without a fight. What I recognise is that Felwah does not want to breach the matched volume at 3. If it does my exit is immediate. Both Highly Excited (has it’s mojo back) and Flawless Pink have both made a dash for their respective crossovers. This leaves Felwah a one way ticket north. I manage to add another £200 to it before it goes over the crossover at 3. At a green of 312 a tick, it doesn’t take many ticks to make a reasonable profit. Once I close the trade I spot that he is playing up a little going into the stalls and help myself to another £8.

I trade littered with bad decisions. But looking back is always easier than trying to predict the future. It took many twists and turns. I close the trade completely 3 or 4 times. But you have to treat each one as a separate trade.

As always I welcome any comments or questions.

I still have some places left for the September date for induction into my Mentorship program. June and July are both full now. You can read about it HERE

16 thoughts on “If Your Opening Trade Isn’t a Success – Try Again

  1. Hi there, thanks again for the videos. Learned a hell of a lot through these, and your honesty when things go well/badly is very refreshing!

    I just wanted to ask if there was a reason, other than the commission rate, that you choose to trade through Betdaq rather than Betfair?

    • Hi Gavin, Most of my trading is though Betfair. I pay the higher rate premium charge, so it is much more expensive. I have tried many times to make Betdaq work for me, but i always end up winning less even after the PC is taken out. Things are starting to improve though and when it reaches the tipping point I will move over 100% to Betdaq. The most important thing is getting my money matched. Cheers Steve

  2. I had scattered various lays on Flawless Pink from 8’s to 7
    Forgot to keep an eye on the fav and swish – got caught under the steamroller.
    Moral of story: don’t take your eyes off the fav if it’s about to go above a crossover 🙂

    Nice green on your trade despite a few clear blunders.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. hi steve,
    great video and great explanation, ive been caught out loads of times on similar markets. had a great weekend trading, but what pleased me the most was on sunday i was only able to trade 3 races and got into trouble on 2 of them, but managed to turn 1 into a profit, and the other came off with a tiny loss. i couldnt of done that 6 months ago, however in hindsight i shouldnt have even traded sunday, as i didnt have the time to tune in. nice to see switesh commenting i have viewed with intrest a lot of his comments on the ba forum, and know you have a lot of respect for the guy, mind you i cant wait for my next trip to aus lol

    thanks peter

  4. Hi MG. You said ‘There is plenty of slack in this book, which means the odds can move without effecting other odds.’ How can you tell if there’s slack in the market? Does the book percentage have anything to do with it?


    • Hi Paul, Thanks for your question. Yes is the simple answer, that’s exactly it. The gap between the back book and the lay book. When I mentioned that it was over 3%. If you take the price at sat 2.88. 100/2.88 =34.72. This means that that price occupies 34.72% of the book. At 2.88 it is 100/2.90 =34.48% of the book. So we can establish that 34.72 – 34.72 = 0.24% per tick. Mow in any book there is always a gap between odds, so there has to be a gap between the books. The bigger this is the more potential for movement. Hope this makes sense Paul. Happy to explain further if required. Cheers Steve

  5. Thanks for the quick reply. I have one more question though. When looking at the ‘market overview’ button on bet angel (on a random race), it tells you what the volume on a horse should be, and what it actually is. For example, on the horse I am looking at, the volume on that horse SHOULD be 34.01%. Although, the ACTUAL percentage of volume traded on that horse is 43.65% (almost a 10% difference). Does the actual volume (43.65%) need to be taken into account? Apologies if it makes no sense or if I’ve got the wrong end of the stick


    • No. That that is saying is the implied odds percentage is 34.01 but the book percentage occupied by the horse is 43.65%. This is common on shorter priced runners as the ones at the front of the book are always over bet. The slack I am mentioning is the gap between the 2 books. Hope this helps Paul

  6. Also, just to clarify, if there is a big gap between the lay book % and the back book % (for example, back book: 103%, lay book: 98%), would this mean more slack (meaning there will be less influence on the rest of the horses should the price move on a certain horse)?

  7. Ah I see. It’s more straightforward than I thought. Thanks for the help, much appreciated. The videos are very entertaining and educational, keep it up 🙂

    • It deepen of the “shape” of the race. The short the front of the book the small the gap should be. 2% is normal. but a fav thats odds on and 3% would be very slack. It’s not an exact science. But now you know what your looking for you can test it out.

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