Interview: Tony Hargraves aka “The Badger”
Today I am really excited to have the chance to speak to Tony Hargraves who is often better known as The Badger! A well know full time sports trader who has travelled the length of the earth teaching others how to do the same. Grab yourself a cup of tea, coffee or a cold beer as this is sure to be an interesting read!
Hello Badger! For those who aren’t aware of who you are, how long have you been trading and what has been the extent of your involvement with sports trading overall?
Hello Ben, thank you for being interested enough to want to talk to me. I started in 2004 in Australia and in 2008 moved to the UK to become a full time trader. I did that for a year and after posting a few videos on a trading forum, I was inundated with requests to teach people how to do it. Adam Todd, the then owner of RacingTraders, which run the BetTrader Evolution trading software, encouraged me to do some training courses and then I spilt my time between trading and training. There were quite a few days when there was not much interesting sport on, so those days, usually midweek became training days. I then got in contact with Centaur and moved to London to run their trading academy. I also run courses in England, Ireland and Australia, the latter is where I am currently for a series of courses in October. I will return to the UK in November to resume doing work for Betfair UK.
A few years ago, I bought the Easy Trader Pro package which I thought had some great information in there. I have since even recommended it on this blog, but only just discovered that you were the man behind it all! What was the story with this product and do you have any more plans for similar products?
I only wrote ETP2 after being contacted by the guy that wrote the original Easy Trader Pro. He felt I could take his basic book and take it to the next level and make it current. I do have plans to release another book in the coming months to bring the current trading community right up to speed with the latest developments.
There have been mentions that you will be re-launching your famous Badgertrades service. Is there anything you can confirm for us today?
I will be involved in a new service in the coming weeks. Due to my directorship at Centaur and certain contract conditions, I won’t be using the name BadgerTrades or be the owner of the service. The owner of Centaur has threatened me with legal action if I do so. I could do it, and I would win but it is not worth the hassle. I don’t need the name, everyone knows who I am now and no matter what the service is called, or who technically owns it, I believe it will still have a very good following and be a success.
Wow, So is it fair to say you won’t be doing any more training courses at Centaur? What was the reason for leaving?
You can say with certainty that I will never work with Centaur again whilst under its current ownership and management. Should that change, I would be more than happy to once again run my courses through them in London but it is highly unlikely. The current owner will never give up control and I am sad to say in the next year or two, Centaur will most likely fade into the distance and once again become a glorified horse tipping service. They don’t believe in trading, they are of a strong betting mentality and that is where the conflict came to be. They still offer my trading courses under another instructor.
There are so many people out there that are having trouble trying to crack this trading game. Is there a common mistake that you find rookie traders often make?
Yes they try to make too much too soon. They try to turn £100 into £1000 instead of trying to turn £1000 into £1100. Apart from that the obvious error is they make is not get out of losing trades quickly enough. They do at first, then they see a couple of losing trades turn around and become what would have been a winning trades and so when faced with the same situation again, they stay in and of course this time, the loss is bigger as it never came back. Almost every trader takes bigger losses than wins and that is a huge problem right there. It is no good making £50 six days in a row if you take a £500 hit on the seventh day! That is a very common situation.
From what I have seen you seem to use a variety of trading techniques from scalping to swing trading and so many different sports too. Do you have a favourite trading style or does it depend on the sport?
Every sport is different. I like laying very short priced favourites in tennis and darts. I like laying the fielding team in test cricket and the batting team in Twenty20. I love scalping horses pre race and swing trading very early in running. I usually trade the draw or the Over/Under 2.5 markets in football. I like the qualifying market in Formula One although I have taken a hammering this year on that with Vettel winning everything.
That is just about all I have time for. There is not enough liquidity to trade Aussie sports yet and of course there is no money for American sports.
There are many people out there that seem to believe sports trading is as simple as watching a match and entering the market In your view, how important is research to trading?
This is my favourite question and one I rarely get asked. It is crucial. With no research or analysis, you may as well be betting on a coin toss. How can anyone know what is likely to happen if they did no research on the match? Trading is the easy part, anyone can do that. But if you do no analysis, or just as bad, poor analysis, you are doomed to failure! Analysis is THE key to being a successful sports trader. And that is how BadgerTrades came to be. People didn’t have the time or inclination to do the research and so it was easier for time poor people with jobs to just pay me to do it for them. And 11 months out of 12 they made money and will do again when I start the new service.
Finally, do you have any trading tips to give to the readers? Perhaps, any “secrets” worth sharing?
Everyone asks this and the answer is always the same. There are no secrets, no shortcuts. It is like any other job. You do an apprenticeship, work your way up, learning as you go and then in a few years, you go full time and give it a go. There are four main areas you MUST have in place to succeed. They are like four legs of a chair. If one is missing the chair falls over. They are Analysis, Strategy, Discipline and Money Management. 90% of people fail on the discipline leg. They do things right 9 times out of 10 then have a lapse and get wiped out. A formula one driver has to focus EVERY lap or he may die. It is the same with trading. Focus on every trade or you can take a hit. Treat every trade as if you lost your last one and you will find the approach is different and complacency won’t set in.
This is not an easy job, the pressure can be immense when you need to win to make a living. And that in itself is half the problem. People think they need to win to succeed. You don’t actually. The one “secret” I can give you is my golden rule that I talk about in the courses. Rule 1. Winning is less important than not losing.
If you can minimise, reduce or eliminate losses, then winning takes care of itself. That also helps take smaller losses as people are not focussed on having to win and waste time and money waiting for a position to come good.
Finally, treat this as a business and not a hobby. If you owned a shop, you would not let people walk in, take stuff of the shelves and walk out without paying. Your Betfair account is your shop. Protect it!
Many thanks for your time Tony, Really good speaking to you!
I hope some of the above helps and I wish you all the best of luck. If you are interested in a course or my daily email service, here are my contact details.
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Well done for putting up these interviews hope you continue with them and do some of the lesser lights in the trading game.
Good to see the Badger back in business, a few people might not get the brash Aussie attitude that sometimes comes over on forums. The guy knows his stuff and trying to be false to please all doesn’t make you money unlike some of the others in this business would like us to believe.