In this week’s Trader Talk I speak with Teo aka Trader Per Caso.
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Teo is from Italy and I met him after he joined my tennis program Ultimate Tennis Trading last year and since then he has told me he is full time with sports trading. Interestingly, he combines his trading with matched betting to make a comfortable 4 figure per month income and live a simple life.
From talking with Teo it becomes apparent his main motivations are not the money but the FREEDOM that something like sports trading can provide.
Lots always focus on the money in this game and so it was refreshing to have this talk with Teo and have him look at things from a different perspective.
And of course he tells us a bit about his approach and the strategies that work for him in the sports he trades.
Grab a nice cup of tea, coffee or an ice cold beer and let’s get into it!
Many thanks for sitting down for this interview for the Sports Trading Life readers. So you trade sports full time for two years now and make a nice 4 figure profit per month from it. Congrats on that.
So firstly, tell us about yourself, where are you from and located? What were you doing before you got into sports trading?
Hey Ben, thank you for this chance to talk about my journey into the “sport trading world”.
I’m based in Italy, in a small town near Piacenza. I’m nearly 30 and I’ve been a lathe worker from when I was 19 till 27.
Nice, sounds like a very calm and beautiful place to live! You said you still feel you are at the start of your journey?
Before quitting my “regular job” I was already doing a little bit of Matched Betting. I liked it since I could earn some extra money without even watching a single football match. I never liked football so that was a big bonus for me.
At that time I wasn’t thinking about sports trading, but I was looking for a method to scale up my earnings with matched betting. As I discovered that it was nearly impossible I also discovered some people who, instead of using Betfair only as a platform to lay bets for MB purposes, used it to trade bets to get and edge on the markets and generate a profit.
During this search I found very little Italian resources to start me off but I think one of the first English things I found on the web were some of your YouTube videos. I think I watched them on loop every other night back then.
Overall, I’ve been doing matched betting for like 5 years now, and the last 3 and half alongside with sports trading. So yeah, I decided to turn full time relatively soon. But, as you mentioned, I still feel I’m at the beginning of my journey. I believe I still have many things to learn … but after all, you can confirm this (or maybe not hahaha), trading is a job where you never stop learning.
Yes very true and that is one of the things I love with it. Always something new to learn and be surprised by!
So I don’t speak with many who do matched betting alongside the trading. Usually it is one or the other. So how does it work for you?
I trade only football and tennis, which, by the way, are the only sports you can trade safely on Betfair.it. I must say that I like tennis the most, but due to lowest liquidity on this sport (on the .it, of course) I have to focus more on football.
The reason I’m still doing matched betting is because I can generate some “risk-free” money (with a low variance as well) that I can then re-invest in value betting and trading. This way I can trade only with money kindly provided by bookmakers. Which is not bad at all.
From when you started, how long did it take you to become profitable with the trading? Any mistakes?
Oh well, there were a lot of mistakes.
The biggest mistake I was making at the very beginning (and I wish someone had told me so) was that I wasn’t focusing enough on the live action. Actually, most of the time, I wasn’t watching live pictures at all. I read somewhere that you could trade while watching TV or at the pub with friends using a smartphone. In my experience nothing could be more wrong than this! Especially when you’re just starting out. You ought to watch those live pictures!
I can’t say exactly how much it took for me to become profitable. Probably I’d say something between 12 and 18 months. But really, it’s kind of an evolving thing. At least it has been for me. I mean, it’s not that you wake up one morning being profitable while the day before you were still losing tons of cash. It happened during time.
Surely, my biggest turning point was when I finally realised what I SHOULDN’T do in the market and not what I should do.
I remember you joined me at Ultimate Tennis Trading at the start of last summer. Did it help you much and how are you finding tennis trading?
Oh I love tennis trading, sometimes much more than football. It suits better my trading style.
I’m not really an aggressive trader and with tennis I can smooth out my position on every point. I like being active when trading and with tennis I can do such thing. The only reason why I’m trading football more often is obvious, here in Italy, on Betfair.it, liquidity isn’t always that great and in tennis this issue is even more relevant. For my trading style at least.
Before joining Ultimate Tennis Trading I didn’t know anything about tennis and tennis trading. But I watched a tons of your free videos on the YT channel and I enjoyed how you explained things. So I thought I could give the course I try, since I was interested in that tennis trading thing anyway … but I didn’t even know how tennis worked! Hahaha
The thing I liked the most is the clarity and thoroughness of the whole package.
You provided a great deal of information and personally I found everything I needed to start off with tennis trading without the need to look elsewhere. That’s a big time saver!
Glad you liked it mate. I found it important to aim it at those who had no clue about tennis, it is an easy sport to pick up after a while and more simple than most with only 2 players involved.
So since football has the best liquidity on the exchange tell me a bit more about it?
As previously mentioned I’m not really an aggressive trader.
So in football, as I do in tennis, I always try and give myself the chance of “an escape”. I mean, I’m not a big fan of second half LTD, for example, where I put in my stake and leave it there till the end. I like being involved in the market as much as possible.
These days I mostly trade the second half of football matches and first set of tennis. In football I like to see how the first half played out and then trade either on the over or the match odds market, or maybe both at the same time. I believe this is where I find my edge in the market. I never watch first halves, but I open my position only if there are live pictures available to follow the second half entirely.
In tennis I prefer trading the first set because is where market movements are slower. Knowing that I’m a pretty “safe” trader then you can understand why I don’t like too much being involved in second or, even worse, third sets. Anyway, here what I do is very simple. I always lay the favourite or the one who’s leading (I mean, I don’t lay every single player who’s leading, of course. Just the ones who passed my selection filters). And then I manage my position depending on how the match is going. Meaning: I love to lay at pretty low odds. Needless to say, here, live pictures are essential.
Very interesting mate and thanks for specifying I am sure many appreciate this point in the right direction. Do you do anything pre-match?
Definitely in-play. I tried some pre-match actions and scalping in the past but I guess those things just aren’t my cup of tea. Too boring! ?
What I do pre-match these day is some value betting. Just a small bit of my portfolio, but still is something that, along with matched betting, helps me growing my trading bank further.
How do you handle having a losing day? Do you have a set loss for the day and stop when that is hit?
I do not have a set loss, nor a set win, for a given day.
If I feel okay and I’m not tilted out then I continue trading no matter what has happened so far. Of course I do this only if there’s still opportunities in the market. What I really learnt is that I should stop trading when there’s nothing out there. Even if I got 3 or 4 losing trades in a row for that day I don’t have to take my money back in haste. If there are no more good opportunities, then I stop.
This might be hard to learn at first. At least it has been for me. At the beginning I felt very frustrated when all the trades I planned to take turned out as losses (or misses). Most of the time I then tried to take another trade (that didn’t look great, but hey, I couldn’t lose every single trade in a day, right!?) to try and get some money back. Needless to say that this, most often than not, didn’t work out the way I hoped.
These days I try and never “count money” while trading. I record my results after every single trade but never check my whole balance in the process. I do that only once, maybe twice a week, and only when I’m not trading.
When I’m having a very bad day I stop if I feel I’m not trading well enough. Maybe there’s something else going on with my life that prevented me to focus 100% on trading? Or maybe I’m just too tired? Or else? Well, in those moments I’m due some meditation and try and regain perspective of the whole situation.
The most important thing I try and do all the time, though, is do my best not to get upset and/or sad. After all, bad trading days will always exist, and I try to imagine those as “taxes” we have to pay.
Very wise words mate. Spoken like a true pro!
Earlier on you mentioned meditation to me. How has meditation helped with the trading? Any other similar tips?
Since I discovered both Mindfulness and meditation my life and trading changed a lot.
I decided to learn meditation because I came through a very frustrating period in my trading career where things didn’t really go my way. I was feeling always pretty anxious, short-tempered and wasn’t definitely the best person to be around. I didn’t like that feeling so I decided to give mindfulness a try.
Luckily, that turned out as a major life changing experience for me. In a matter of a few weeks I felt better already. More relaxed and focused. Even happier!
Meditation helps me giving the right perspective to all the feelings one can experience when trading. I’m sure many have felt angry, or anxious or even euphoric when trading on Betfair. Well, any of those feelings don’t really help in achieving your trading goals. So, with the help of meditation, I learnt to label them just as mere “feelings” and move on.
I’m not saying that if you want to be a successful trader you ought to meditate. But if anyone who’s reading this has felt (or he/she’s feeling) something similar to what I felt back then, my suggestion is to give meditation a chance. It could really help you out.
Very interesting. Those I know who do it swear by it and like you mentioned, a big problem people go wrong is by letting their emotions get the better of them.
What are the biggest benefits of doing football trading for you and your lifestyle?
I always felt oppressed when I was a lathe worker. For me, personally, being an employee is like being in prison. I’m not exaggerating this. I have friends who are pretty happy having someone told them what to do and not having much responsibilities. But that isn’t really for me. I like feeling free to do what I think it’s best for me and that is something you can never do when you work for someone else.
With trading (as well as any other job where you’re the boss of yourself) you’re responsible of what you do. If you work well you earn money (in the long run), but if you don’t, well, you lose money. So basically everything goes down to your own abilities.
So for me the chance of having the ultimate freedom to work whenever and wherever I want, and most of all, not to be oblige to answer anyone for what I might or might not do is just a dream coming true. The only thing I must do is continue being profitable and then the job is done. ?
Are there any sports events or matches which have been memorable for you? Or produced your biggest win?
Since I’m not really a sport fan I tend not to remember memorable games, outcomes or players who scored memorable goals. But I could tell you a funny trade, which was based on pure luck, but turned into one of my biggest win during my early days. But again, I scored that win not because of my trading abilities but because I was extremely lucky.
I was trading a match in the Korean K-League. A game between Ulsan and another much worse team. Those days I was experimenting with correct score trading (which I almost abandoned now ‘cause of low liquidity on the .it).
15-20 minutes into the first half I dutched correct scores 1-3/1-2. Thanks to my research I thought Ulsan, which was playing away, could have won the match, but was probably going to take at least one goal. Anyway, I opened that position with the intention of managing it in-play once the goals started flying in. Also, could you imagine how big odds could have been, giving that K-League is not a very high scoring league.
First half ended 0-1, and since odds didn’t really move in my favour I decided not to do a thing and wait for another goal. Maybe an equaliser? Well, that came midway through the second half, but after it was scored the market never came back from suspension and then I was stuck with my money into the market. I could have tried and give myself a scratch trade on the sport section of Betfair but it was all suspended too. So I had to sit on my hands and wait. Though, I already marked those money as lost on my spreadsheet.
But the unbelievable happened in the last 5 minutes of the match. Ulsan scored another goal, then after a few seconds another one which was disallowed. Early in stoppage time was the home team who got a goal disallowed, and finally at 96’ or so Ulsan went 3-1 up. Match finished and I scored a 100€ (more or less) from a less than 10€ stake, with an unbelievable turn of events.
Again, this was basically just luck. But I think it is a trade I will always remember for the way it played out.
Haha, I tell you if that happens to me it probably goes to 3-1 in the last minute then goes to 4-1 after that and I lose. I never have much luck when freak events like that happen.
Now this bit might hurt, but tell us about your worst mistake you made when trading?
I made, and still make, a lot of mistakes. So many that is hard to tell my worst one. Though I could tell you about my latest one. And it was definitely stupid.
I was planning to open a position in the over 2.5 goal market in a Chinese Super League match. It was 5 minutes into the second half when I suddenly saw the odds starting to behave weirdly.
Liquidity was good, or so it seemed. But there were big gaps and money was moving in suspicious ways. For example you could back overs at 2.4 and lay them at 2.9. Also there were some seconds when there were absolutely no money on the lay side of the book. Basically there were all the red flags one would want to see to avoid a match. Though, I’ve been too superficial: I trusted too much my match-reading skills and I was sure a goal was coming, also I was sure that those weirdness in the market was something just temporary.
Well, you must never be too sure about anything when trading. As it turned out they didn’t score any more goals. In addition when I had to trade out to close my position I had to take a much worse price since the market kept on behaving badly. Hence, I lost way more than what I normally would.
This was a painful mistake because it was definitely stupid and utterly avoidable.
Interesting. Yes when trading foreign matches sometimes you see weird things in the market and you just “know” something is up and best to stay away.
Anyway, as you said above, this is just the start of the journey for you, how do you see the future playing out with this?
For the foreseeable future I imagine myself becoming a better trader and that’s what I want to do for now. Maybe, I’d like to dig more into the financial markets as well. I already do a little of investing but I’d enjoy try and trading commodities or FX.
My aim when I left my old job was to being able to work while traveling around the world (or maybe Europe would have done as well). But now this COVID situation kinda spoiled my plans. But this remains my main goal anyway. Though, at the end of the day who knows. For the moment I just try and enjoy the journey.
Sounds like a good plan once the pandemic is over. Take your laptop and make money wherever you go. Freedom!
Finally, from what you have seen in the online world, why do so many go wrong when trying to be profitable at trading?
There’s too much information out there. And I’m not saying that every bit of it is useless. There are some great sites, YouTube channels and such spreading the world about trading. Thing is that for a person who’s just starting out too much information can only add too much “noise” to your understanding.
See, if you follow someone who says you should try a given strategy you do that. But if after a few trades the strategy doesn’t work, well, you find tons of other “influencers” that say you should definitely try that other strategy, and so forth. This way a newbie is too tempted to jump from one system to another and he or she never discovers his/her true way of trading. I believe we’re all different and what works for me might not work for you.
This is also why I enjoyed your tennis course. I didn’t have any previous knowledge about tennis and the course provided me with all the info I needed. I never searched any additional info for the first 7-8 months and just focused on what the course offered instead. And I’m glad I did. I could understand which strategy fit for me and which ones aren’t just my cup of tea. I learned how to tweaked them a bit to made them fit more my needs. And that’s it. I tried and stick to the same strategy on and on.
(for the people familiar with the course, 95% of the time I use a slight variation of the “money method” to trade tennis)
Good points, there definitely is a lot of “noise” out there and it makes it too easy for people to jump around to other things. Then like you said, lots of people giving bad advice amongst the noise when really people should find something that they are comfortable with and focus on it. Forget what everyone else thinks.
Finally, do you have any advice to give to people starting out? Anything that really helped you?
If I have to give a suggestion to someone who’s just starting out: please, do yourself a favour and do not jump between too many strategies and/or gurus. Find a person (online course or whatever) who you think you can trust and then follow their rules for enough time you no longer think about the rules. You have to become one with the system. And maybe, eventually, you’ll discover that a certain strategy/system doesn’t even work for you, but you can’t be sure about that in just a bunch of trades. You should persevere.
In conclusion: as a rule of thumb, and this is my humble opinion of course, if you are new to the game and you’re trading with more than 3-4 strategies at the same time maybe you’re just overdoing things. Focus on the simple things first. There’s always time to add more and complicated stuff.
Many thanks for taking the time Teo!
Thank you Ben, it has been a real pleasure!
You can check out Teo’s blog here: https://www.traderpercaso.com/
Or follow him on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/traderxcaso
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