Due to the overwhelming positive feedback received from our interview with professional Betfair trader Oliver, i’ve organised an interview with a second professional Betfair trader and close friend of mine, Martin.
I’ve known Martin for several years and consider him one of the smartest people that is trading on the Betfair platform from Australia. What I think you may find most interesting is where Martin has come from career/life wise and where he is now thanks to his transition into becoming a Betfair trader.
Martin, let’s start out with a bit you and your life? How old are you and what were you doing before you became a Betfair trader?
I’m 54 and have 2 adult children. I’ve owned businesses and worked as an employee, so I’ve experienced both sides of the spectrum. I’ve never felt the freedom that I have now and love what I do.
How did you first get started trading on Betfair and when did you make the plunge to become a full time trader?
I found Betfair about 15 years ago and as an unsuccessful punter I realised that in each race there could only be one winner, so I started just laying horses. I once turned $40 into $4000 over a few months, but lost it all before I took a cent out. Rookie mistake number 1!!! Always get at least your stake back.
So, I figured this wasn’t the way forward. I got into arbitrage realising that if the odds moved in your favour, you could make a profit no matter what the result.
I started out just pre-race scalping and evolved into an in-play trader.
Just over 4 years ago, I quit my job and with no real cash reserves took the plunge as you put it and went full time. It didn’t take long to realise that I had made one of the best decisions of my life.
How many days/hours a week do you work?
I work 7 days a week and do over 50 hours trading horse racing. I also spend many hours monitoring my current bets and researching opportunities, mainly soccer and NBA basketball.
I also like to take a few days off every month or so, it recharges the batteries.
Do you focus on just racing or do you trade sports as well?
I do other sports as well. Soccer, basketball, cricket (all forms, but T20 is great for trading), AFL, Tennis and some Formula 1.
What is your biggest win and loss on a single market?
I’ve had many 4 figure wins in horse racing, also had some 4 figure losses. With the racing you can get lucky backing the winner across the line whilst someone has money against the horse. I feel prouder of my EPL, Champions League and Europa League markets last year where I traded good 4 figure across the board returns on all 3 markets.
What is your average win per market?
I prefer not to give actual figures, but on average I win about 68% of my trades and have a slightly higher loss average than win. But whilst winning at a rate of 2-1 this isn’t a problem.
Do you believe anyone with the right mindset can become a professional trader and if so what is that mindset?
Ah, that’s the $64 000 question.
I believe anybody with an understanding of how to arbitrage from varying odds can trade, BUT without the right mindset there is no way it can be done successfully long term.
You need to be able to feel the same way whether you have just made $500 or lost $500. Early on, in my experience, a big win was generally followed by a big loss as you get cocky or take extra risks. And a big loss can lead into some really dumb moves in trying to get it all back the next race. That never works and generally leads to re-funding your account.
Discipline is required to ensure you follow your own set of rules at all times no matter how good or bad you are going.
I also believe that you go in and out of form, so sticking to what works is imperative.
I know that you did fairly well out of Leicester winning the premier league last year, at what price/when did you back them and why did you back them?
I first got on them in late November when they were equal top with Man City and trading at 110’s. I took more at 80’s and 60’s and as they got into around 20’s, started to lay enough off to return my stake. Then as they shortened further I would continue to lay them until I had a very nice 4 figure hedge. So as Tottenham closed in towards the end of the season I had already fully hedged out giving me an equal win no matter the outcome. But I was really wanting Leicester to win as it was a story of a generation, more like a fairy tale.
The reason I started to back them was that Man City had Europe and the FA Cup, as did most of the title contenders, Leicester didn’t have this problem. The number of games played by these teams was at least 2.5 times more over the same period which meant team rotations and injuries would be a major factor to the quality of teams they could or would put on the park to play in the EPL. Even at times sacrificing EPL games to ensure advancement in the European competitions. Its exactly what Chelsea are facing this season, no Europe and I expect they’ll win the EPL and the FA Cup this year, which is why I heavily backed them to win both comps this year. Having already traded at 1.03 for the EPL title I have already traded out for a nice pay day.
Is your racing trading solely based on what you see and hear or do you see trends and patterns in the pre-race betting that make you lay or back a horse?
I check a speed map briefly before each race and mainly look to see where the fave should possie up. I listen to the radio and to an extent am in the hands of these callers and trade accordingly.
If I see large amounts of money coming for a horse I’ll tend to start on it, but generally I just trade in the moment.
I don’t do any form at all and generally don’t care who wins as I’m hoping to be out of the market long before the end of the race.
What API’s have you used and what is the best one for you?
I have used BetTrader by RacingTraders since the start and I have tried Geek’s Toy and Bet Angel.
Thank you Martin 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?
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