Discover how Joe Symons went from working as a customer assistant at Ladbrokes to going full-time with football trading for a living on Betfair. All within the space of a year!
If you are a Betfair football trader that uses Twitter then you probably have already heard of Joe Symons (@Symons21). A young football trader from Kent who has taken the scene by storm with his incredibly accurate match reading skills and the profits he makes from them.
His many profitable tweets and helpful football trading advice have served as great inspiration for others. And it is not often a full-time football trader shares his trades and strategies so openly on social media and while they do it is important to lap it up.
But what struck me was how quickly it seemed that Joe went from being a part time football trader to going FULL-TIME this year. This is very rare and something that often takes people years to get good at (me included). So I had to contact Joe to get him on the blog for a quick chat.
Joe was hesitant at first since he does not view himself as an expert just yet but I am sure you will be glad he took the time to share his knowledge. So here it is, expect lots of juicy information and key takeaways in what is the first interview Joe has ever done.
Hey Joe and thanks for taking the time to do this interview. So how did you get involved in the world of Betfair and Football Trading?
Hello to all reading this, I hope you enjoy the interview and find it a help to your trading future.
So I am 26 years old and I have been trading football for just over a year now. I am still learning every day on how to improve and pick the right moments to get involved. I would say it took about 3 or 4 months before it started to click and I made a small profit, fortunately I learned very quickly and even now I am still very new to trading compared to the best out there. I only recently went full time in February 2018 and so far, it has been the best decision I have ever made. My previous job was working at Ladbrokes as a Customer Assistant where I worked for 2 years.
How did you get into trading football specifically?
I started out as a normal average punter, backing horses outright with no research and placing the ‘certain to win’ 8 fold football accumulator at the weekends.
At first the horses were surprisingly doing very well for me and I naively thought there was easy money to be made. That soon stopped come the following winter and most of my profits had gone, but by that stage I had the bug and wanted to learn so much more about gambling.
Football has always been a passion of mine from a very young age playing and watching it whenever I could. So naturally when finding out about trading via twitter & Youtube videos and seeing the very best in the business doing well I knew I had to at least have a go.
How did you learn to trade in the way you do?
You may of seen me on twitter praising @Psychofftrading, and for good reason, as your followers will know his trading and profits are what most can only dream of.
When first starting out I actually asked him a few questions. He replied and without giving too much away the help he gave me really improved my trading so a big thanks is due to him. I truly believe that trial and error is the only way you will know how far you can push your abilities as well as knowing your weaknesses. Even paper trading at first will hugely benefit you.
You seem to be the master at extracting full value from the trade. Do you use a staking plan? Or have a loss limit?
Like any gambling or trading, nothing is certain especially profits but if you can control your losses and let your winners run to their full, you will turn a profit most months.
My stake sizes will never be more than 10% of my bank size, for some that is too much and that is only when I am very confident on my trade, of course if it’s not going to plan I can always trade out and reduce liability. But generally 5% of my bank is what i use on average.
5 What might surprise many is that the strategies you use seem to be quite simple. What are your favourite football trading methods?
Trading is a complicated thing and so I like to keep my methods as simple as possible.
I know there are some traders who can do 50 + trades in a single match and make great returns, but for me simplicity is my friend. My two main markets are Match odds & Goals markets. My favourite methods are lay the draw, lay in the unders goals market and to lay a team winning but the opponents are looking likely to get a result/goal.
Another strategy you might have seen me use is ‘the free bet’ method The best way to use this is if a game starts fast and chances for both sides. You could enter the over 2.5 Goals market. If a goal is scored relatively quickly or if you are really lucky 2 in quick succession. To try and maximise profits you can then trade out your liability and leave the ‘free bet’ to run.
The football markets are hard to crack, there are millions trying to find an edge every day. What would you say is key to you finding your edge?
Without doubt this is the main question I get asked every day on twitter.
For me pre game stats are not that useful, they can be misleading as the game live can produce something completely different to what you expected or predicted. My edge would be to watch EVERY game I trade, sometimes 5 or more at a time, and enter where I see an opportunity. If the opportunity does not arise I will not trade that game. Sometimes it is hard sit on your hands and do nothing.
For me watching the game live is everything, from there you can decide and see how the game is being played out and make your decision accordingly.
Unlike some, you do not always cash out for equal profits, what is your thinking when you do this?
I do get a lot of people saying to me you should hedge out and equal the profits, starting out I would recommend this but you have to try and maximise your profits.
Take the recent Celtic vs Rangers game as an example…
Celtic were the really dominant side when I entered my trade and so I backed them. Soon after they scored a goal, even after that there was no obvious signal to show me that Rangers were getting back into the game. And Celtic won quite comfortably in the end, thus maximising my profits, but I still had some return if Rangers got a result.
You recently tweeted to say you only open 10 trades in total on a busy Saturday of football. So would you say finding the best quality opportunities is better than the quantity?
When starting out this is probably what most people do, they see 100’s of games on a Saturday and try to play most of them.
Mine are limited straight away by the ones I can watch.. being in the UK that means no 3 o’clock kick offs! Then by watching the games you can decide on what trades to open.
Being disciplined and patient is probably the best trait to have when trading, there will always be another opportunity.
What is the biggest challenge you faced in your journey towards going full-time?
I think probably telling my Family and Friends I was going full time as none of them had heard of sports trading and all thought I was bonkers quitting my job to “gamble for a living”. As the months have gone by and they see how I am doing I think most are now aware of what I do and that I can turn a profit out of it.
10 Tell us about your most memorable football trade….
There has been some great wins for me as my followers on Twitter would of seen but the most memorable for me and equally the most profitable was when Borussia Monchengladbach drew 3-3 with Hoffenheim.
I laid Hoffenheim @ 1.20 who were leading 2-3 with very little time remaining. I knew to get in the market since the home side were pressing for a goal, the passing was fast and chances were being created. Luckily for me it came with nearly the last kick off the game. great result!
MLS is fast becoming my favourite league to trade as they love scoring! That game Montreal we’re leading but had a man sent off FH, the SH started and LA came out flying, I probably should of got on earlier but I got on at 3-3 and then LA scored a penalty for me to trade out.
What has been your biggest lesson learned in football trading?
I used to enter pre-match when I felt a teams odds were value to either back or lay. Recently, I remember backing Arsenal to beat Brighton away and was really quite confident. I entered with a £1000 stake and watched as Brighton embarrassed Arsenal and me! I have learned from that and only trade football in-play now after watching the action unfold.
Football seems to be your main forte, how do you do on other sports?
I like Horse racing as well and do have a go at that albeit with much smaller stakes and returns but that churns a profit every month so I’m happy to keep that as it is. In the past I have tried going in-play on horses, tennis, cricket.. the list goes on but I do not know the sports as well as football and for that I now stay clear.
14 – Finally, If you were just starting out today, what is the number one piece of advice that you would give yourself?
I would say to myself don’t over complicate trading, keep it as simple as possible and learn the basics well before going any further.
Do paper trades and see how your strategies work out. Keep your stakes at a low % of your bank size, think long term not all about making loads of money today or this week. and most of all enjoy it, win or lose you will learn and if you can enjoy it at the same time it really is a great thing to be involved in.
Good luck to all of you starting out and thanks for taking the time to read this.
Thanks for your time Joe 🙂
So if you have Twitter you can see Joe’s football trading exploits by following @Symons21.
Hopefully, you took a lot from that interview above with one of the key points being that Joe watches every match he trades. If you are struggling with your football trading then perhaps focus on watching the live action and trading only what you can see.