One of the main trading sports on Betfair is HORSE RACING TRADING and that is mainly the PRE-RACE markets. It was probably this type of trading that started the ball rolling when it comes to Betfair trading with many people making lots of easy money in early days. Skip forward to today and it is certainly not as easy to make money from pre-race trading on Betfair but it is still possible!
Today, I have spoken with CAAN BERRY who is part of the new generation of Betfair traders profiting from the pre-race markets on Betfair. Caan is the author of the “Trading A Profit” blog (link at the bottom) which is a very entertaining read in itself and he now trades Betfair full time and has replaced his day job with his Betfair trading.
Read on to find out more….
STL:Hi Caan. Thanks for joining me. So what exactly is your background?
Caan: Hi, I grew up in a small seaside town called Clacton where i had a very average upbringing. By the time i reached 17 I had realised the area had very little going for it and if I continued as it was the future didn’t look to bright so i joined the Army.
The Army was good for nearly 7 years before I decided I couldn’t progress at the speed I wanted too and at the time I had already discovered the potential of Betfair, I left after 8 years service in 2011. Since then I worked for British Telecoms as a fibre optic engineer for a while before trading Betfair full time.
So when did you first discover Betfair?
Caan: I had a Betfair account for some time just using it as an average Joe betting rather small but it wasn’t until I saw a program called Blag a Million around mid 2009 where they visited a professional Betfair horse racing trader, Adam Heathcote, for the afternoon.
Having seen the amounts of money it was possible to make consistently and bearing in mind the guy was only a couple of years older than me I thought I needed to look into it more! The fact I was getting fed up with the Army too probably spurred me on that bit more.
How did you learn how to trade the right way and how long did it take you to become profitable?
Caan: I learned to trade mainly through trial and error, reading a huge amount of forum posts and blogs for hints and tips mainly because there was next to nothing in the way of credible ebooks etc around when i started out. Had there been the option (without people screaming con-man) I would have bought them most definitely.
I had a real mix of results mainly due to the usual problems people face such as doubling up and going in-play with the bets although it was only a few months before I started to think I really CAN do this. It probably took me around a year to kick the bad habits but between them I was making smaller amounts of money from the trading, as profits increased it released the pressure allowing me to avoid making such mistakes.
Which sports do you make the most of your profits on?
Caan: I make the vast majority of my profits from Horse Racing (Pre-race) as I think the type of market it is in comparison to other sports it is possible to trade profitably without a lot of knowledge of the sport. Greyhounds are possible although the opportunity to make bigger sums is more difficult, I’m also a little partial to trading things like the X Factor or Big Brother.
What sort of stakes do you use?
Caan: Generally I use stakes of £100 – £500, I will use more but only when I’m very confident or its a bigger event such as Cheltenham. It depends on the price range I’m trading although that usually works out at £2 – £10 per tick increment.
Are you able to give an idea of what sort of profits you now make from your trading?
Caan: Sure, it varies month on month as its not like a normal job and the big events throughout the year can boost a months profits. Next year I’m setting myself a target of £100,000 which will be a bit more than this years projection.
What stakes do you plan to use to reach the £100k in a year target?
To reach the target i think its possible with my current staking plans although it could see me increase them largely on the bigger meetings like Cheltenham and Royal Ascot.
What is a typical day like for you at the moment?
Caan: A typical day for me at the moment is to wake up around 9 am, go to the gym or for a run unless I have anything else important to do. Back at home for around 1 pm for a bit of lunch before i start trading, up until around 5.30 pm I will trade, some evenings when its available if I have nothing else to do i may continue for a while but generally that’s it for the day before I visit the pub to socialise or relax for the evening! Most week’s I only work 4 days. I would say this is one of the best aspects of trading Betfair for a living, the freedom is amazing.
Was there any turning point or Eureka moment which helped make your trading profitable?
Caan: I think understanding the market behaviours and why they do such things has always been important and that really helps as without it you’re lost but the real ‘Eureka moment’ ,as you say, is when you fully understand how you fit in with trading, what makes you tick, your strengths and weaknesses if you like.
For me that was when it changed between making a fairly nice side income to making more in an evening than I did in the previous 8 hours i just spent at work. Once that moment set in and I realised profits soared.
Do you stick to a defined strategy?
Caan: There are defined strategies that I use in certain situations although they are very infrequent, generally I trade on what i read in the market.
I like to understand ‘why’ everything happens. I think its also a key factor in building that confidence that allows me to execute trades effectively.
Can you give a small example of the “why”? As in what influences the markets the most in your view?
Everything of course influences the markets, its often a case of seeing how and what fit together in each unique situation. Overal i would say the different time frames is probably the biggest contributor to why things happen.
It’s often a case there is always an opportunity just a different one at different points in time, having an understanding just helps which opportuinty at which time. Much like anything in life.
Many will try pre-race trading and fail, where do you think most newbies go wrong with this sort of trading?
Caan: I think the problem for most is two things, firstly not actually understanding what is going on and why. It seems people like to link Betfair trading with Forex or other financial trading but actually they are very different.
Studying a Betfair graph for hours before trading trying to identify support and resistance is likely to only help in a couple of races a day. Also each situation is different, in my experience many that fail try to trade each race like the last. An athlete wouldn’t turn up to a 800m running race and try to run it like they did in the last race if it was a 100m sprint! Trading race after race is no different.
I have seen your set up. How do you use it for trading and how essential is it to the profits you make?
Caan: My setup is all that i need and a bit more now, doing it full time its worth having all the extra’s. Its a custom built setup, 2 monitors, one TV and a custom built tower, tower was about £400, screens around £100 a piece with the TV about £150 …. i bought it all a couple of years back tho. its a dedicated machine for the trading so it still runs pretty smooth. you could say all in I spent about £800 on it.
It’s possible to do well without it although i think it makes it much easier for me at times being able to have all the information I want at my disposal on display at one time, there are also situations where you would be at a significant disadvantage. My advice if someone is learning would be to use a laptop and subscribe to the racing channels, once you’re profiting you can reinvest it in the extras. That’s what i did.
What is the most you have made in one trade and what went right about it?
Caan: The most i have made in one trade was £452, it was a bit of a freak situation where i could see somebody was desperate to get a large bet of around £27,000 matched! It was at Kempton Park racecourse and took around 2 minutes!
What is the most you have lost in one trade and what went wrong with it?
Caan: Ahh the big question!
I try not to remember the losses but I know in the early days a couple of times i got caught in-play and left it like a rabbit in the headlights before watching the runner go on and win, the biggest I think was around £1,500 in one go although in the first year it happened a couple of times.
Do you have any advice for Betfair trading newbies?
If I was starting out now the first thing i would say is do your homework first, learning to trade can cost a fortune but it really doesn’t need to.
Get some good software (The Geeks Toy is the best in my opinion) and take your time to read all the online forums and blogs even if it means trawling back through old posts, there are some useful bits of information out there if you look hard enough. Start with training mode first but treat it like real money, this could save you a lot of money in the first year. Also, if you can afford it invest in some guidance although check around that its from a credible source first, its likely you would have lost a lot more learning the hard way with no help.
Observe the markets and pick your opportunities carefully as in this game it can take seconds to lose or make big profits, that’s half the joy of it! And finally once you’ve started learn to observe yourself and how you’re feeling at that point in time, the worst mistakes often come from feeling emotional or wound up, not from the market itself!
While it’s possible to make lots of money fast its probably counter productive to set extravagant targets, as I said earlier the biggest improvements came with little change in what I was actually doing. Aim low and build confidence as time goes by the momentum of making money will take care of itself.
On a scale of 1-10, how easy or hard is it to become profitable at pre-race trading?
An interesting question, I would say there are two parts to it. To learn to spot opportunities and understand how to become profitable at pre-race trading I would say its a 3, with 10 being the hardest.
However it will vary from person to person on the latter part. To learn how to implement and control yourself around those opportunites mainly due to greed or being scared i would say personally its probably 8 out of 10. I think learning is far easier when there is little or no pressure on the trader.
How can readers keep up with you and follow your journey?
You can check out my Blog – tradingaprofit.blogspot.com
I am also on Twitter – @CaanBerryTrader
YouTube – youtube.com/caanberry (there will be a lot more uploaded in the coming months)