Since 2006 I have been regularly trading in various formats, starting with sports trading, then on to financial markets and finally back to sports. This might not be a normal path but I have come to find there are many more opportunities in the sports markets and as such this is where my focus has been lately.
These days I mainly focus on football trading and my speciality is trading the mainstream European leagues.
At the end of 2017 I found myself in the fortunate position of having several profitable strategies and a sophisticated football statistics database capable of providing many more, one of the bigest problems I did face however was that implementing my strategies was very time consuming. I also felt like many of my strategies could be further improved if I had the ability to perform my trading calculations faster to take advantage of in play opportunities (which might only last for a few seconds at a time whilst a market reacts to an event such as a goal).
So, these factors plus a few more such as saving time and the need to be at my screen for long periods have made me funnel all of my future efforts into automation and building trading bots to do my work for me. The grand idea is to have such bots trading 24/7 and myself simply monitoring them and tweaking my strategies whenever necessary.
Over and Above
Automation in sports betting is nothing new, however, I have found most of the current tools on offer to be lacking in the kind of power I would require for such an endeavour. For example, many tools are simply manual trading tools which can link to a spreadsheet and place trades based on simple triggers such as current price, weight of money etc.
Even if more advanced trades can be triggered with the help of VB macros the use of 3rd party software is still often cumbersome, slow and lacks the flexibility afforded by developing bespoke software specially tuned for the task at hand. Such 3rd party trading tools are also relatively expensive in the long term and by using them you are inadvertently committing yourself to a certain developer and their way of doing things – I feel this is not the ideal approach!
An Ever Sharper Edge
I sometimes find it hard to define to myself exactly what an edge really is. Sometimes an edge is purely about understanding statistics, how a certain game will play out and finding markets which are over or under valued and getting in on the action. Just as important as this is the ability to spot an opportunity and act decisively upon it! In the past I feel I have missed many potentially good trades because I can only monitor a certain number of markets at once. Also, like many other traders I have found myself hesitating when such an opportunity presents itself and as such let the opportunity slip by.
By using an automated bot I can remove this hesitation (the human element) and also monitor many more in-play games at once for potential trade entry points! This should (in theory at least) allow me to further improve my profitability come next season!
I currently have a prototype of my latest bot in testing, I have built it using VB.NET and it currently runs 24/7 on a virtual private server I run. I probably won’t get any serious use out of it until next season now but I plan to do further fine-tuning during the upcoming world cup. I also plan to do a couple of videos showing my automated trading set-up so if you are interested please check the blog again soon for some more info!