Today we speak with STEVEN HALL who is the author of the football trading course “Dynamic Football Trading“. He gives us a unique insight on what he feels it takes to trade football profitably these days.
So when did you first discover Betfair Trading and what attracted you to it?
I probably first ventured into the Betfair world about 10 years ago in 2004. I remember reading some stuff about it and thinking that this was a surefire way to beat the bookie by “laying”. Then the harsh reality hit home that it was not quite as easy as it was made out to be. It was the thought of “being a bookmaker” that attracted me to it all. Little did I realise you are still betting, just on the opposite outcome!
How long did it take you to become profitable?
Now this is an interesting question. It was actually 6 years before I began making consistent profits. This is a long time I know but I was not learning for the whole 6 years. I would go into it on and off and it was only around 2008 when I began to really start trying to make something of it. The difference was that back in 2004 there was not many courses or products that would teach you exactly how to trade football so the only method you could learn from was the old “lay the draw”.
I struggled with that but kept buying new systems whenever they come out. I was a system junkie for many years but this was all about learning for me. While some systems were not great there was always a few that I could take something from and learn with. I was steadily losing money for years on both systems and with my punting but it was only a hobby so there was not much concern. As the years progressed the quality of the Betfair courses available improved immensely also. It was only by 2010 that I began to click with my football trading and by 2012 I was forced into going full-time with it.
All in all, you could say it took me 6 years to become profitable but it was probably only 2 years of intense practice before I got there.
What is a typical day like for you at the moment? How long do you trade for?
I have to say I am loving how life is right now as I mainly trade evenings and weekends. My usual weekdays involve getting up, going to the gym, bit of socialising in the afternoon before getting down to business with the trading in the evenings if there is a match on. I get all my research done for the week ahead on Monday and for the weekend on Thursday as I had issues with being organised before. I have found doing my research days in advance helps me to have a clear mind when the match approaches. Previously, I would do it all on the day but then my head would not feel clear enough by kick off.
The downside is that my weekends are usually pretty busy and that is when most people want to socialise. So I often have to sacrifice social things on a Saturday as I like to be sharp for the Sunday football. There are pros and cons with everything.
Was there any turning point or Eureka moment which helped make your trading profitable?
Yes, my turning point was realising there is more to football trading then laying the draw and that you do not always have to take your positions at kick off. You can get involved based on the action you were seeing. I would always do my research like a regular punter and look to place my “bet” before the match and hope for the best in-play. Then I would be frustrated when the match did not turn out how I expected. Once I realised I did not always have to get in at the start and could wait to see what is happening before I get involved then my trading began to do much better. These days I hardly EVER have a position open at kick off.
Why do you call your trading style dynamic?
It is dynamic since I am reacting to events that are unfolding without having a set “system” in place. I think many football traders go wrong these days because they all want a “system”. They want something simple where it is “do this, then do that and profit” when in reality it is never going to be that easy. That is a mechanical style of trading and I could not make that work for me. Every football match is different and so you can not trade them all the same way.
If you only trade in-play, what sort of research do you need to do?
That is a good question. I still do research but I am less interested in who might win a match and look closer at how I expect the match to play out, mainly in the amount of goals we will see. I can not disclose too much as this is all covered in book 1 of Dynamic Football Trading. The research I do is mainly to give me an idea of what to expect in a match once it is underway. Like if it is 0-0 at half time I will look to my ratings system to give me an idea of whether there should be goals in the 2nd half. If team a takes the lead I will see how I have profiled the match and whether they might concede an equaliser or double the lead. This all helps me with my decisions in-play although the main focus is on what is actually happening on the pitch.
What is your view on people who claim the football markets are too efficient and impossible to find value in?
I think pre-match this is definitely close to the truth. But in my opinion there is lots of value to be had in-play and this is the key. For example, if you watch a live match then you will know there are spells where the match is “open” and goals look likely and there are spells where nothing much happens. So just by watching the match and having the right strategies you can be sure to only get involved as the tempo of the match dictates and then switch your strategy when it changes.
A rough example is a match might be priced @ 1.70 for Under 2.5 Goals before the match. This is probably the correct price. Then the match starts slowly and nothing happens and by the 20th minute, Under 2.5 Goals might be 1.40. Then suddenly, a wild tackle comes in and it gets the crowd up. The players get pumped and the tempo of the match suddenly changes and it starts going from end to end. Suddenly, goals look likely but the price on Under 2.5 Goals will not suddenly drift higher, at worst it will remain the same. This is a great time to get in the market by laying that price as it can not move against you by much while the tempo is high and if the goal arrives you can lock in a huge profit.
These are the types of things I look for when trading dynamically.
So do you only trade the matches you can watch?
Not always. It would be impossible to watch everything since so many matches play out at the same time. As I said, my profiling helps with the matches I can not watch but I am also sure to only trade matches I can not watch when it involves teams I know well. Like teams from the top leagues in Europe or the championship.
What is your set up like?
My set up is nothing special at all. I remember when I first started I believed that all the professionals operated with 4 computer monitors along with 4 football matches playing out across 4 tvs and maybe an assistant offering refreshments! In reality I just use my laptop, my sky sports and trading software. Software is a must these days even though in football trading you do not need it as much as other trading. But being able to exit the market with one click is so useful when trading multiple matches.
Do you have any advice you could offer for those just starting out who dream of doing this full time?
Just keep learning and not to expect success right away. You should also have a few different strategies in your arsenal also. I wasted a lot of time trying to find that one special strategy that would win for me 90% of the time but it never happened. Having a portfolio of strategies is necessary since every match is different and throws up different opportunities.
What can people expect once they sign up to Dynamic Football Trading?
I am really proud of the final product and have had some terrific feedback. You get 5 strategies in the package which can all be used frequently. In a way you are getting a little mini-portfolio of strategies as they can all be used at different times and on different markets. They compliment eachother which is the main thing.
The main method is the core method which is one of the best ways to trade football in my view since the ROI is so good compared to other methods. Each strategy is written in detail and with clear steps and then you have the real life dynamic examples. There are over 30 of these! This is where I played out the trade and showed you the how and why of each trading move. This is the best way to learn and I was always disappointed when I would buy strategies that did not explain how to implement them fully. It was all well and good reading the method but I would want to know how the trader implemented it in real life situations.
By the end of the course I am sure you will feel eager to attack the markets with the strategies.
Thanks for your time Steve and best of luck in the future!
Message From Steven:
You can read more about my Core Method and other strategies in my Dynamic Football Trading Package. For a limited time only, use promo code STL25 to receive a 25% discount.
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