Peter Webb - Bet Angel - A review of my first year of trading on Betfair for a living
So, let me take you back nearly, two decades. Two. Decades ago I was still in a normal job for want of a better word but. I had this dream of trading. On Betfair. For a living and. It, took a few steps to get to that particular point but let me tell you about my first year of trading on bed, fare, please. Like and comment on the video below that, will allow me to produce better, quality videos, and more of them in the future if, you're interested in learning to trade successfully in, sports then why not visit the better angel Academy where we have more detailed, videos so. In a previous video I had talked about you, know what you're interested in my first year on Betfair so. That's. What I'm going to talk about in this video and I'm. Gonna show, you or, give you some insight into stuff that was going on around that time and how. Things evolved. From there now, it's important to remember that the first year that I had, on their phone will probably, be very different from, yours because. Betting. Exchanges, weren't very well known. Strategies. Weren't very well known there was no software. And. There are all sorts of other mitigating factors, as well if. You start trading now you're, going to be several steps up because, there's information available, as liquidity on the exchanges, the software available there's. Quite a few strategies, and tactics out there although some of them I do question. But, you, know you, have several steps on however you, know the sort of experience that you'll go through will probably be similar, to, the one that I went through I made. The leap out of a normal job into trading full-time at, a time when. Nobody, did that and everybody thought I was completely crazy however. I, obviously had the foresight, to be able to sort of get involved and to. Give it a good go but, let me talk you through the. Experience of what happens how I did and how. Things sort of evolved from there. So. Necessarily, the first place you up start is with the launch of Betfair you you could actually wind back, prior. To the launch because my, interest, in betting. Exchanges, came around from. Being involved, with an, internet company, an internet service provider I was. Involved with an Internet service brighter in the midnight I've, been messing around on Presnell then CompuServe, and then the internet for. A large number of years and, I could see what was about to happen with, the internet and I. Throw. Out my life you know I've been quite good at catching these waves and repeatedly. I've been looking at technology, and advances. And trying, to get involved with them at early, stages, however. And even with the Internet service provider, you. Know it's not that easy having a good idea is one thing actually, doing something about it is another and making. It a success is something you know, completely, different altogether. So. The Internet service provider could. See what the internet was tick knew all about it tick understood. The technology tick. But. The, picking. Right company cross doing. It at the right time cross making, it work across, there didn't work. Out for me unfortunately um. However you, know, everything. That you do will catapult, you forward probably. In ways that you don't understand so my. Involvement with Internet. Related stuff. Allowed. Me to merge that into other, knowledge that I had in previous jobs and push, myself in the direction of dealing, with companies that were involved with the Internet and part, of that was going around looking, at.
Technologies. That were developing and of course one of those emergent, technologies, was peer to peer, networks. And one of those peer to peer networks was the betting exchange so I knew about betting exchanges, before. They had even been created. But. When. The betting exchanges came online I joined, up with them immediately, and that was how. I got started I was, the early, adopter, Betfair, open for business on the seventh of the six I have. Covered this in some other videos but. They did a press, release, talking. About the death of the bookie and how peer-to-peer. Technology. Was going to replace the bookie if, you look at all of the technology. That's. Out there across the internet that's. More or less what it's done it's sort of collapse the old model of having loads of intermediate, trees into, you and the, company and, they're. Basically the proposition, was that's what was going to happen to, the betting market, so. Yeah Betfair open. For business on the 7th of signal that's when they have fish launched, and. It took me precisely 11, days to, set up an account with them so, but. But the thing is you know think about this as well it wasn't just bet fair that I said something I can with I set them up with just about everybody that had the word internet on it or in those days they used to prefix everything with an E it was Eason II whatever so. Yeah. I basically, joined up to all these services I had no idea who the winner was going to be at that particular point, in time but, I signed up too and. And when, you look back I mean actually I preferred there was a platform out there called flutter and the concept of flutter was you actually communicate with the person that you're play something better so you place a bet upon England you need some say England, going to absolutely. You. Know crush, their opponents, today and then somebody you would place, the counter bet where they put a little note on there going no, they're not you know the Spain are far too strong or something and. Then those two bets would get matched and you would exchange a little note with it as well and I quite like that added, a little bit of something. To. With. The bets that you were placing, however, you. Know you had flutter and you had bet fair both. Of them were quite big, at that particular moment in time but, Betfair took over flutter I think technically it was a merger but, like with a lot of mergers you tend to have in. A bigger partner, and the bigger partner was bet fair so that was probably one of the most strategically, important, things, that happened early on in the industry was, bet fair taking out flutter bet, fair went off and raised money got. Some additional funding and it, was that that they used to buy flutter and that's the you find that a lot with startups, that if you have more funding than your opponent then you can either take them out without to compete them that's, what happened very early on within. The, betting exchange industry, there, were hundreds, of these models and and they all started, to sort, of consolidate back, into, a smaller, number and some. Of them had a bumpy, path and some of them didn't so yeah there were many many many around at that particular moment of time and what you see now in. The market are the survivors because. Of all the hundreds that started gradually over time lots, have gone out of business merged, closed. Whatever, and. What, you see now are the, the winners in that very long attritional, game. So. Yeah I preferred. Flutter. But, where, I started, really was with, our Bing so when you look at our. Bing you. Tends, to, if. You look at some of the early spreadsheets, that I'd done, what. I was doing was basically. Matching. Off of positions, on the exchange with, bookmakers, and I. Was doing that on flutter I was doing it on Beth I was doing it on many different platforms across, you know everywhere that I could and that was the most obvious place to start with me and when. We look at. What. I was doing around this particular period it was pretty similar, to what you see sort of with match betting apart from you know I was doing our IRB and. One. Of the issues that you have with that is that very often, you can find that, a there. Is risk involved within that in terms of people not willing. To take your bets or, yeah.
Amending. Terms, or odds after the. Situation or not paying out I was one of the biggest problems I had when I was our thing was both bookmakers, not paying out refusing, to pay out delaying payments, some. Things never changed today. But. It was really still a pipe dream back in 2000, I was. Doing all of this sort of work, having. Between difference entities. But. Really, seriously was I thinking about you know really going full-time not. Particularly because I had a decent job, and when, you have a decent job and all of those things and a, young, family, it's not something that you really think, seriously. About doing it's it's a pipe treatment something that's up there did. You sort of think about it, could be possible, if there was scale but there wasn't even see how there's no liquidity on the exchanges back then so. It was not really an. Opportunity the, only opportunity, would have been to work for one of these companies and hope that, they turn into a much bigger one but as I've said before even, that carries quite a bit of risk, so. The big breakthrough came really in 2001. When. During the budget Gordon. Brown stood up and, abolished. Betting duty a lot, because of the internet a lot of, bets. Were being taken away. From the, on course activity, and through establish, outlets and a lot of them were going offshore, to. Avoid betting, duties so, as, a consequence there, was a mismatch in the market for, the Chancellor at that time decided to address that mismatch and abolished. A betting duty so. That, for me was a big shout out to the fact that there was a lot of potential from this particular particular. Period going on and. Also when. You look at the. Growth the exchanges, were seen you could see that there was potential, to, go there now, there's an important lesson for you here because it doesn't matter what you do at any point in your life they're, always going to be risks attached and it's natural, for you and for your mind the psychology, behind it, to. Fear, change and. To fear. Big. Changes. So, leaving. A job to do this full-time is a massive, commitment. And. Also it carries risks as well but one of the things that I've learnt over time is they're, very often not doing something carries, more risk and. Has. Longer-term consequences that, are more negative so. It's, more important. To. Put that into perspective people often focus too much on the negative and forget the positive and around, this time you, know I was, maturing. Within my career and I basically started, at a very low level in my career and gradually worked my way up and up and up to bigger and bigger levels and. I was getting pretty well paid for doing that job, Bera. Minuses 20 odd years ago we're. Talking early 2000s, here I was, getting, paid particularly. Well for the job that I was doing although the job itself was quite a tough job and involved, a, lot, of a lot of things so I wouldn't say that it was an easy job, but. I'd sort of reached the point in my career that I felt, I sort of pushed as far as I could and for. Many years that always wanted to do my own thing and I'd also you. Know you would work for a company you'd see an opportunity you would help them exploit, that opportunity but, then you, would reflect. And look back and you sort of think well I did most of that you know I did a lot of work behind that I created the opportunity and, you. End up with that feeling that you're always doing that for somebody else and I. Began to lose the fear, for. Going out and trying something on my own I just needed an opportunity to, really go for it full.
Time And, it. Turned out that because of all of those things reaching, a point at that particular moment, in time that, opportunity. Were. Spec fare bizarrely but, of course everybody thought that. That, was you. Know just the silliest thing that they ever heard and of course nobody had ever done this before. And, you. Know it, was going to be a really big jump at this particular point in my career I had a young family I was getting paid particularly. Well, and. There I was going to abandon it all for. Something that you, know just seemed absolutely ludicrous at, the time - absolutely everybody there, was very few people that, could understand, what I was going on about. So. Yeah I made, that big jump and decided that I should, go, out and, make. A go of it and I'd, sort of thought, that. If. It didn't work out but, then because I'd held senior. Positions and, stuff before it. Probably wouldn't be a problem, getting back into a role and also I felt I needed to make a few life choices at that point because when. You do a big job is sort of swallows, up everything absolutely everything, from dawn until dusk. Almost. Seven days a week it's impossible. To. Do a big job with a decent salary without having to throw all of that commitment behind it but, that's actually no different from working for yourself or running your own business it, really is no different apart from you, get a bit of autonomy you live and die by your own decisions you're not subject to internal, politics all of those things and. That's what was driving my decision really as I thought you know if I'm gonna do something I really need to do something you know all of these opportunities I've seen all these companies have worked for all of the work, that I've done, why. You know shouldn't I just give it a go myself why would. I not do that so I did do it but. The markets were still sort of relatively immature and also my, trading was pretty immature as well so.
I Had a small bank to start with because. Of my previous experience with football, I knew. The football markets pretty well felt that I could probably get a bit of an edge by doing something in football so. You know football, was, one of the places that I started, trading. On. And. That was okay, but nothing spectacular, I didn't have a particularly big Bank I started from pretty much zero I think, I initially, funded my account with the bath and pound. But. Yeah I was working in those markets doing small trades and teasing, characteristic, market you've got to remember now that those markets, back then. Were. Nothing. Like the markets that you see now they, were quite, immature they, weren't particularly, liquid and, you. Know there was a lot, of. I'm. Just trying to think how I best summarized it they probably. Say that they are nothing like they are now in terms of the way that they function and. Work, but. The. Markets. Got much more competitive as time has gone on but there's much more liquidity, so there are many more niches in the markets nowadays and there weren't when I was around there's three. Or four vanilla, strategies, that you could use and. You would have to do, them to the best of your ability and see if you could squeeze some money out of the market now. The funny thing is I, started, writing about trading. And I was doing presentations. At financial, exhibitions. Around, the 2004. 2005. Period, but. When you look at a lot of the strategies that people talk about now they, come from that era, there's, been very little original, content that I've seen in the, last few years that tells me that there, are people out there that are being. Particularly. Progressive because. You, know I recognize a lot of what I was saying in 2004, 2005, in videos. Articles, that I see nowadays which. Is which, is quite weird really because obviously over that period of time I've, developed progressed, and matured, and the. Interesting, thing is that have a look at how it changes, in, terms of the way that I. Have, progressed. Over a period of time so, when, you look at some of the early traits. That I've done you, sort of see a bit of everything because a bit of horse racing, and as, I've said in some previous videos I used to do a lot of a national markets I did a lot of financial market trading when. I first went full-time and. That was to see you know I sort. Of hedged my bets about for want of a better word and. If. You I, was, doing a bit of writing for a financial magazine I was doing a bit of trading on financials, and I was also doing the. Bet fair trading stuff as well but. The interesting thing is because of my link between the two if you look at those piell's around that period you'll find that. Our financial markets pianos, within. There and the. Interesting, and, curious thing about that is watch, how it changes because there's a little, bit of racing, there's some football in there and then there's financial markets trading but, if we then move forward a little bit then. You can see that the more racing, is coming into the mix so. Why was it that I got interest in racing I knew nothing about racing I had no specialist. Knowledge. But. The market, was absolutely, huge it was billions, and all. Of the other markets I was in like the financials, were really not doing a great deal of money I mean. If. You look at a, detailed. Ledger that I kept for my financial, markets, trading, stuff on their fair you'll. See that I was still doing quite a lot of money you know there's about. 200,000, pounds staked through, that particular market, its. Profitable you can see that I'm measuring various different aspects of the market and the way that I'm actively trading, it you. Could probably pick out the sort of strategy that I was using there but. The. Problem with that market is it didn't really grow and I kept looking at racing and racing was constantly.
In Front of me on the markets that's obviously where a lot of money was bet and the markets are actually huge so I knew that, I had to get, involved with racing, um so. You know wined Ford a couple of years later and, you can see that my P&L on that day. There. Was no football there. Was no financial stuff it was all racing. Because I knew if I sucked racing. And I could effectively, trade racing, which was the biggest market by far, then. I would, be able to make a living just, doing. That just by effectively, gambling, on racing, so. That was my motivation for moving into racing, of. Course now there, are many different markets that you can pursue that you have quite a lot of liquidity Racing, is still right up there but there are plenty of markets that you can choose if. You want to carve out a niche in that particular market. But, what happens to me was as I started to focus more and more on those, particular markets, everything. Began to grow a little bit but. Also, my. Skill and knowledge within that market started to grow so I went from this process. Of not. Making any money at all, I'm just dabbling around in the markets trying to what figure out what on earth was going on with them to, getting a bit more knowledge to being able to trade, them more effectively, and then it was a case of generally. Becoming more consistent. But. Also you. Know you started, to up the targets bit so you know first of all it was like just. Try and break even try not to lose any money then it was a case of I wonder if I can just squeeze a hundred, pounds a day out of these markets, and, then it was when you break, that barrier I was like I wonder if I could get 500 and then you think I wonder if I can do a thousand, a day. But. Of course you know all of the targets mix and match and change and. Flop. Around depending, upon what you're attempting to do and how you're attempting to do it and what stage of the career you're at and whether it's your normal career trading career that's all going to be different for every single person when you first start out trading but. I remember, you know Adam Todd's was posting. Piell's. Talking, about doing twenty thousand a year and. At. That particular point I was trying to get about twenty grand a month because. I thought, you know how hard and far can i push this, how. You. Know much, can I lift this what, can I achieve how, can you know how can I achieve something special I didn't want to just be able to trade I wanted to do something special something, that somebody had, never done before, and. That's pretty much been my mantra all the way through my entire career discovering. New things, getting. To grips with what, I can see in front of me and trying to push the boundaries of what's possible as, much as I possibly can so. You, know when you look at the, equity curve for my first year, you. Know you could count my first year on bear fur as being any one of the things that I've talked about already it could be when I first joined in, which, case that would be quite disappointing, PNL it could be from, you know when, I first, went full-time which. Would be a little bit better or it could be when, I started trading racing. Full-time, but. I count the first year really as being, when I decided, to start doing it seriously and. When I'd left my job now. I don't have records for the first 24. Weeks or so or. Detailed records because I was messing around effectively. But if you look at this equity curve that I'm about to put up what. You'll see is that for. The first part. Of that year I did, 16, grand. And. Then you can see the equity curve exploded. Effectively, upwards. From there and that was when I started to do. Trading a bit more seriously. And looking, at racing, and other sports and trying to bring in more things from the mix but.
The Interesting thing about the, graph is this was just the start because, this was pre bet, angel, and the. More I traded, and the more effort I throw into it the more I could see what, the potential opportunities for, I just needed a platform on which to, do them so. This. Was just the start if we, wind, the clock fort and start looking at when I was getting most fists, sophisticated. And I really had sussed, what was going on with racing, and then. Throwing in bet angel into the mix then everything goes stratospheric. From that particular point onwards because then a whole range of strategies open up to me and things, just became generally, that, much bigger so. Yeah you know when I first started, I. Remember. Hedging, my bets a little bit I, didn't have any preconception. Of what, I wanted, to do but, the only thing that drove me really was that I just left a really well-paid job so I you, know sure as hell needed to make up the income somehow. So. That was a motivating, factor for me when I first started, but. Really the first year was a case, of me finding my feet trying. To do something consistently, and, then sort of starting to build from there but the interesting thing that I found was that always worried about what could go wrong, prior. To me making that leap but in fact what actually happened was. When I actually sat, down and started doing, it all these opportunities open, up in front of me and then. You know of course you throw bet angel into the mix and then, suddenly even more opportunities, opened up so, in hindsight, the thing that I was worried about the most was, you. Know it being a failure and this big leap being an absolute disaster, but, what I hadn't thought about was the other side of the equation all of the things that I would discover as soon as I started doing it seriously and the fact is when, you do start doing something seriously in you throw love energy and effort. Into it and you'll really begin to find the, true opportunity and, up, until that point there's, no way that you can ever quanta or write a nice little business plan or tell you about it it's only when you actually start, doing it and start making. Progress towards, those goals that. You really begin to understand, where the opportunity, is, so. Anyway I hope, that was interesting for you but that's a reflection, on, my first year, of bed fair trading and how, I got there. You.