In this week’s Trader Talk I spoke with Johnny Danish who is a member of my premium course Ultimate Football Trading and who now averages $4000 a month from his Football Trading exploits. (That is right, he uses USD as his currency!)
Anyway, becoming a success at sports trading is never easy but nothing compares to some of the challenges that Johnny has faced along the way.
Read on to discover more including the BIG turning point that allowed him to become profitable, the favourite strategies he uses and the unorthodox approach he had to take to curb his discipline problems.
Grab a cup of tea, coffee or a nice cold beer and enjoy!
Hi Jonny. Thanks for joining me and talking to the Sports Trading Life readers.
It is a pleasure Ben, I am happy to do this.
So today you average $4000 per month and you trade football full time. This sounds like a dream for many however you were telling me you have been through a lot to get here. Tell the readers a bit about your journey.
Yes so, back in December 2010, It was just a normal day at work and I dropped some papers on the floor. I bent down to pick them up, and in my head, I heard the sound of a big rubber band snap and at the same time, I felt a horrible pain in my back just above my tailbone.
To cut a long story short, I now have chronic pain 24/7 from that incident. There is no treatment for it other than to take narcotics that prevent me from being able to work.
This was a big shock to me as I was only forty years old. I was in very healthy shape. When I wasn’t at work, I volunteered for the local fire station as a firefighter. Just before my accident in December 2010, I had just finished training to work on an oil rig. I was going to be able to combine my job as a process operator, firefighter, and oil rig training to work on the sea worldwide. But that dream got shot down like a bolt of lightning when I got hurt.
And shortly after I got stuck in the Scandinavian welfare system and by October 2014, I got an early retirement pension. I had no plans to retire so early in life and not be able to work—I was too young for that.
Mentally, that was a big hit and the main reason I later tried to learn about trading on Betfair. I needed to do something. I couldn’t just sit and stare at the walls while “normal” people went to work.
But the big problem was, the pain was only going to get worse as I got older. There is no treatment for this condition; doctors can only manage it. It turns out, it was actually something I was born with, and I had no idea before that day in December 2010. Later in April 2011, when I got an MRI, the doctor told me this was not good at all.
Also, about two or three years ago, I was diagnosed with progressive sclerosis in addition to chronic back pain, but I smiled and tried to see the bright side of things, this is the best way to deal with it..
Today I am happier as trading on sports is my way of having a “job” and I really enjoy it.
Amazing story Johnny. I am sorry you had to go through this but also happy to see you are very positive today. And it is great that you actually found a way to be able to make money from home and in a way that you really enjoy. Did you do any betting before you discovered trading?
I did bet on football before the World Wide Web was born but only a little bit and only for fun. I can remember the time before the internet arrived. I was a teenager in the good old 1980s, and I often saw my uncle and my grandfather using our local and national newspapers to find suitable matches to place bets on. At the time, we couldn’t make sports trades. I think trades were for stock markets only back then. ?
I think most—or at least many—people are on some sort of journey when they start to bet and trade. They try to find a way to earn money online and think betting on sports sounds so easy.
But it’s far from easy. The truth is, there is no perfect system or holy grail.
So at what point in your journey did you discover Ultimate Football Trading and did it help you much?
The first time I ran into you and Ultimate Football Trading was on YouTube. I had been scammed so many times, following these so-called gurus, and I had lost a lot of money doing it. Been there done that, but I think it was a part of a learning curve most of us need to pass.
I saw all of the Sports Trading Life videos on YouTube, and I was skeptical—it’s automatic when you’ve been fooled so many times. Still, there was something about these strategies and the trading. I watched them again and again.
Then I finally made up my mind and signed up when the doors opened to Ultimate Football Trading.
I relaxed and studied the course at my speed. I could find the right trading options for me and my situation. Again I paid a small fee, and I got to relax; I didn’t need to hurry through the course, thinking I’d have to pay for another month to be a part of Ultimate Football Trading.
UFT helped me learn how to trade instead of bet, and that was a change in my life—trade, not bet.
Glad it helped. What sort of mistakes did you make along the way?
Breaking my old routines was a challenge.
I had to learn to stop focusing on a bet, not to hunt down the money I could bring in from a bet. When I bet, there is a risk of losing not only the bet but the money invested in it. When I trade, there is also a risk that I could lose a trade, but I won’t lose the kind of money I invested in a trade, compared with a bet.
My mistakes in the past were to bet and let the bet run to the end. I mostly hit a wall there. I could turn $10 into $100 or $100 into $500 or even $1000 if I bet on football on the weekend. And then still, in the end, come out with $0. I was so angry, not knowing what I had done wrong, questioning why I had taken that last bet or the previous two or three bets that had cost me everything. I could win ten times in a row, and then lose it all in two or three bad bets—greed was my enemy.
I needed discipline and an appropriate staking plan.
Yes this sounds like a common story for many. What was the turning point?
Well when I became a member of UFT, I admit that I took some big hits, but this was my fault.
And then one day, I had a meeting with Johnny (myself lol) and I came up with this deal. If I could earn $40 each day, then I would stop trading when I hit that mark. If I could make $40 per day, seven days a week, then I would smile again. That changed my way of trading. $40 per day doesn’t sound like much, but it was enough to stop me from going after the next trade. It forced me to quit at that point and begin again the next day, so I did that for one month.
Each day, I made $40 or more on trades, but when I hit the $40 mark, I said that’s it, enough for today. No matter what other matches were played, I stopped for that day, and after one month, I had earned a lot more than $40 a day. I was in heaven, and I had found something that worked for me. By doing this, my profit each day was higher than $40. I still use this stop/loss tactic; just now, the bar is much more than $40 a day.
That was a significant change for me, to force myself to stop when I hit the goal and either take the profit and green up or let it run a free bet.
I think the main reason this worked for me was simply because it helped me with my discipline. I was taking quality trades over quantity.
I learned you have to do what works for you and stick to it.
Interesting, you are not the only one who takes this approach. Much of this game is played mentally and being able to have positive days helps you to have positive days the next day and so on. I know many who stop for the day when they have reached a certain threshold, helps with work/life balance too.
Anyway, is there much you can reveal about your approach?
Each morning, I check stats on football games from around the world. I need to see them, keep up with them, and check the odds, etc., on Betfair when the match is close to kickoff. So all I do is, check stats on these sites: https://footystats.org/ and https://soccerway.com, and at the same time, I have a site like https://www.flashscore.com open. I use that mostly for following all the games. For example, if I see a match 0-0 at halftime, I check the stats on footystats, and if I like what I see, I join the game with a trade over/under 1.5 goal.
I have a premium account at https://footystats.org, and I think that cost me £10/month. That’s it. I can quickly check stats on football matches, etc. all year round, and it’s easy to set up the stats you need from there.
I think the fireball strategy is one of my favorites today in the over/under 1.5 goals market, but with that said, if the odds are there, I can join in in the past 0.5 goals first/second half. If 0-0 at HT and again the odds look okay, then I may jump in for a bit over 0.5 or trade over 1.5 goals. But it’s also an option if the stats say go for it, and even if I see the match, which I mostly do. I feel there is a goal to be made, then I also use the correct score markets sometimes, but my main focus is trading on O/U 1.5 goal using the fireball strategy.
Other angles I explore are when the market thinks many goals will be scored in a match and so I go the opposite and scalp the Under 2.5 Goals market in the early stages.
If I see a strong favorite go behind with one goal, maybe I lay the underdog or I maybe go in O/U market. Things like this.
To help some of the UFT members reading this what is your usual entry point with fireball?
I normally wait to 20 minutes before I set the fireball method in action. There is something about the 20 minutes in a match that works well.
How many trades do you do per day or hours actively trading?
Ha ha that’s a difficult one to answer, you ask how many trades a day, and in a match can be more than one kind of trade and I am not always fully 100% trading since I can be trading when doing other things with some strategies.
For example, yesterday when I was out shopping, suddenly that sound was made from Flashscore on my phone, a goal was scored and so I greened up continued my shopping.
That’s a good thing about this is that we can trade any time, no matter where we are.
It could easily be between 5 and 30 trades per day but also its up to my mood and if trades goes my way or not, we can not win all the time, and if i lose 3 or 4 trades in a row, I take a timeout and try see what went wrong here, what did i not see etc.
I do trade much more in high seasons then i do in low seasons, but trades are made all year around as there is always football being played somewhere.
One thing is for sure, as the bank grow, I trade less, I think the reason for that is, I trade with bigger bets now, than when i just did start out with a smaller bank and small trades.
So you have less matches you can trade because of the liquidity available but there is still more than enough every day.
I am asking everyone this at the moment. How did you handle football trading during COVID 19?
Apart from losing on betting in the past, Covid-19 was my worst nightmare come true as a football trader. So good question. I thought, what do I do now?
I looked at what kind of sports were still being played on Betfair exchange, Betfair sportsbook, and Bet365. Sports like table tennis, darts, and e-sports were still being played daily, and the best thing was, it was easy to follow live.
Again, I don’t spend money on any match I have no stats on, so I used Google to find stats about table tennis, e-sports, and darts—these stats were all on free websites. I took a few days to check if stats were valid. Basically, I checked the stats and saw the game live, and then if it all looked okay and I thought it was worth a try, I jumped in and placed bets.
Interesting. Tell me more about how it went?
I had some small success with e-sports, mostly FIFA soccer in the over/under markets and on CS:GO matches, and I learned about darts like PDC World Darts Championship. Then I shouldn’t forget to mention table tennis. I didn’t earn the same kind of money I do as a football trader, but when Covid-19 hit and shut down most sports, I tried to grab what was left.
I should mention that in the above Covid-19 situation, I didn’t trade that much; I was forced to bet mostly. Betfair was so slow to get things Covid-19 ready, but Bet365 was there from like day one. I took with me what I had learned from Ultimate Football Trading—never let a bet go all the way to the end, take a profit, and move on to the next match. Have a stop-loss number ready and stick to it, basically always have a plan.
Always, always, always check stats—and I mean always. I was lucky there as well because on footystats, they had stats ready for e-sports. All in all, it was okay under the Covid-19 lockdown and I was happy football returned in the end as I am not too sure how much longer I would be able to keep my Bet365 account if I kept withdrawing money.
Back to better times now, what has been your best memory made from football trading?
Hmmm, that’s a tough question. I actually don’t remember a specific match.
But I do remember when I passed the $1000 mark trading. That was a big thing to me because I felt like I had something here; it was more about the road to pass that $1000 mark.
The feeling when I was on the road to passing that milestone ($1000) when I was betting—I got these butterflies in my stomach. I hoped for the best. If it didn’t go my way when I was betting, then I got so angry at myself; now, when I trade, all those negative feelings and emotions are gone.
Yes that makes sense. The moment when you realise it is all actually working is a pretty big turning point. It is a bit of a paradox but it is only when you have that moment that your discipline really improves and you do less silly things going forward.
As said, it becomes a paradox, you need to be discipliend to be successful but you often need success to give you the discipline
Anyway, what about your WORST match ever?
Again, my memory is not great for this but I can let you know about a very recent bad match I traded.
Bournemouth against Tottenham, FT 0-0.
That was a significant loss for me. I saw the game live but I didn’t believe in what I was seeing. The voice in my head screamed that I should trade out and take the loss, but I didn’t trust my eyes.
I lost my discipline and that match cost me around $1000. This shows that even today I am not perfect and still have bad moments but I am glad they are more rare than before.
In total I think I lost around -$6000 before I turned things around and started making profits. You could say this is an expensive lesson but it is worth it when you think how much I am making now every month.
Finally, if you were starting today, what advice would you give yourself?
Ignore the noise online (and even offline) and believe in what you do. If something is working for you it doesn’t matter what other people say or think.
You must use stats before you enter any trade (or a bet). And if you can, watch the match live or on a website like Bet365. The reason being that so much can happen in a match—VAR, red cards, two teams may park the bus and are ready to jump to bed, so to speak. Topics like that, you need to follow somehow, the stats don’t show you those things.
What works for me is that if after a goal and the green color is close to going into the red, 99% of the time, take that small profit. Don’t allow a trade to go from green to red. That will mean that I hope for the best and also mean that I get used to taking a risk instead of making a profit. You are here to make a profit, so take it when you see it. ? Don’t hope for the best; take the profit again and again and again.
Don’t overthink things. Keep it stupid simple (stay in the kiss mode). It’s a good thing to have the “what if” shown on Betfair, but it’s not a good idea to sit and see a game end and think, wow, “what if” a goal had been made. I might have been able to make a more significant profit, but the situation is, you have a profit in your trade, so take it or take a free bet.
Do not hunt the money, but let the money come to you. Make the profit and build up that bank.
Great talking with you Johnny. Best of luck in the future!
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