Today I sat down with Oliver, a 35 year old father-to-be and professional in-play trader on Betfair. I have personally known Oliver for many years and have had the pleasure of watching him evolve into a very successful trader and I couldn’t think of anyone better than Oliver to talk you through what it takes to be a full-time trader.
How did you first start out trading on Betfair?
I was first introduced to Betfair in 2010 by a close friend. My initial beginnings were based around playing with pre-race trading on UK racing in the early hours of the morning. Most wins were based on luck rather than skill back then.
Tell me about your progression to becoming a full-time trader?
Over the 7 years of trading, the one thing I’ve learnt is there is no such thing as a ‘certainty’.
I think I’ve managed to experience every possible way to lose money. Laying horses that miss the start 5 lengths to win in a canter, Internet connection dropping midrace, clicking on the wrong horse, jockeys falling off in the last 50m and so on.
For the first 2-3 years of trading I didn’t make much money at all, it was more of a hobby on the weekends.
Without the right mindset and associated willpower, you might as well not even attempt to trade. It’s all about small wins, over and over, which after a week, month or year, end up to be a very large number.
Once you start keeping records, everything becomes very stark. An example of this was when I turned full-time, I realised very quickly that I was winning on Horse Racing, and losing on every single other sport that I traded/gambled on. Just like the first 2-3 years of trading on Horse Racing, I have been able to turn that situation around on other sports as per the current Champions League green book.
Did you have a job?
I was working full-time around 10 hours a day. Prior to going full-time, I was trading only on a Saturday.
Did you bite the bullet and go full-time or transition into it?
I quit my job in mid-2015 to become a full-time trader. Although it offers some additional freedoms, they are generally only mornings. The downside is spending Friday nights, and up to 12 hours on a Saturday trading.
In-play or pre match/race or both? Futures?
95% of what I do is in-play trading, and mostly on Horse Racing. Some Cricket, Football trading also, but the need to ring up to place a bet does stymie that somewhat.
I also do some futures trading on AFL markets such as Premiers, Top 8, Brownlow & Coleman etc.
Do you win every day?
No one wins every day, but in the two years i’ve been trading full time i haven’t had a losing week.
What is your biggest ever win and loss?
My biggest win in a day was $4800 and my biggest loss was $1500.
How much can a Betfair trader make per year?
In Australia, you are limited due to the liquidity of the markets you are trading. Some horse races in Australia might only turnover 90k on Betfair… compared to 5 million in the UK. Also your appetite for risk does expand or contract your opportunity to make money. My average profit per market is $14 and average win is $47.
$100,000+ a year is very achievable.
Is it tax free?
I’d suggest that anyone who wants to trade full-time get advice from their accountant. My advice has been that unless you are running a ‘business’ then yes, all winnings are tax free from Gambling.
Do you pay anything extra for being a winner?
One of the ‘joys’ of being successful is that you pay Betfair’s dreaded ‘Premium Charge’. I think of it a bit like paying tax.
How many hours do you work per week on average?
I generally spend 35-40 hours a week trading.
Do you believe that anyone with a set trading plan can make money on Betfair?
I believe that most people have the skill to trade. Trading isn’t hard perse, the challenge is actually on the mental side. I’ve had weeks were nothing is going right, and you start to fall towards the ‘gambling’ abyss. It’s all about how you handle the losing days, not the winning ones.
What API’s have you used and what is the best one for you?
I’ve used a few different trading software’s such as Geeks Toy and BetAngel, but I find that for me, the best is BetTrader by RacingTraders.
Thank you Oliver for the great insights and we hope to bring our readers more interesting and exciting articles going forward. Feel free to share some feedback on social media or in the comments below.
Interested in becoming a Professional Trader on Betfair?
RacingTraders will be holding unique master classes in Sydney and Melbourne on April 29th and May 6th. To be conducted by RacingTraders Head of Education, Tony Hargraves, a one day masterclass will take you through the A-Z of trading racing — from the moment you decide to be a racing trader to when you are ready to go full time and make it your living.
Tony will show you the ins and outs of scalping, swing trading, dutching, hedging, backing and laying at the right price, stop losses, etc. He will also show you entry and exit points, how to read the markets and when a price is going to reverse and why.
Interested? Click the image below to learn more about the masterclasses.
Use our exclusive code ‘trading10‘ to apply a 10% discount at checkout across all of the BetTrader products.