“I stared at the Betfair screen and I could not believe my eyes. I had locked in a profit and I was going to win no matter the result. I had just invented football trading.”
Y’know, It is always interesting to hear how people get into football trading and how they first discover Betfair and my story is a funny one and much of it comes down to my persistence to try and win £2.77.
Read on, this gets (very) interesting…. (Grab a cool beer if you have one)
So like many, I first got a Betfair account because I wanted to participate in matched betting and extract the easy money that was available from bookmakers bonuses. It was a typical scenario of being in debt (damn student loans) and not making the money I wanted to make from my “day job” (eventually being made redundant!) which led me to exploring online opportunities.
The Matched Betting Hey Days!
Now this was all in the early to mid 2000s and matched betting in those days was a glorious time. It was literally a goldmine. New “dotcom” bookmakers were popping up all over the place and free bets worth £1000+ were not unheard of. It is amazing to see it is still going but the offers available today are nothing compared to the “good old days”.
However, the problem with matched betting (as you may know) is that you are limited to how much money you can actually make.
After exhausting all the new account offers and having several accounts gubbed (Ladbrokes, Bet365 etc) I found that I was scratching around for new offers and working extremely hard for what was probably less than minimum wage when all was said and done.
Especially when spending multiple hours doing a blackjack play-through offer in order to make £20 profit at the end. 🙄
But I stuck with it, since it was “easy money” after all.
However, the day I “invented” football trading was the day everything changed….
My memory is a bit hazy when it comes to the specifics but here is what I do remember….
It was the mid-2000s and I had a £5 free bet with William Hill I think it was (Stake Not Returned too) and went to use it on a game that I am sure involved Man Utd in the Champions League.
With this offer to lock in a profit of around £2.77 I had to back Man Utd on William Hill and lay them on the Betfair exchange.
I did that, grabbed some beers, sat down to watch the game and waited for profits to roll in. “Make money watching football”, I was living the dream or so it seemed. In reality, the beers probably cost me more than £2.77 so I was probably losing money that night already.
Anyway, the other team scored early on and I was happy with that knowing my lay bet would probably win on Betfair which is always the preferred option.
As I cracked open another beer celebrate another easy profit locked in I got a nasty surprise.😱
I looked at my computer and noticed the bet I thought I placed on William Hill was still sitting on the betting slip and had not been submitted. I could have sworn I pressed confirm but low and behold it had not gone through. I hadn’t even had a beer when I was doing the bet so I could not blame it on the alcohol.
So I panicked.
Now in those days there was no in-play betting on William Hill so nothing I could do with my £5 free bet.
And if Man Utd were to come back and win then I would lose my whole lay liability on Betfair.
My efforts to win £2.77 were proving more stressful than they really should have been.
So I went on to Betfair which did have the match in-play. Even though in those days in-play betting was only reserved for BIG matches and not almost every match like it is today.
Light bulb moment…
So, as you can guess, the odds on Man Utd were much higher than the odds I layed at originally.
So I wondered if I could back Man Utd with the same £5 might I remove my lay?
Well I did and it worked. 😍
But now I had a curious green figure sitting on Manchester United and I soon realized that I had a “free bet” on them to win the match. (No cash out function in those days too)
Then as I was sitting there figuring this out, Man utd scored.
Suddenly their odds went lower.
So I fiddled around and then layed them with the minimum stake of £2 just to see what would happen.
And low and behold, I accidentally just created my very own green screen.
I sat there for a while unsure as to what was going on. Since it now seemed that I was going to win money on this match no matter the result.
I had heard of “trading” on Betfair before but thought this only happened on horse racing before the race started. I had never heard of “football trading”, especially in-play, before.
I was incredibly excited, and so this led to a very sleepless night as I began to think about the possibilities that could be had with football trading. Especially when it was in-play.
After all, I don’t need to worry about who is actually going to win (I suck at that). I just need to have an idea of how a match may develop and this was what I always felt I was good at.
I was the typical football fan who would watch a match and say a “goal was coming” and it inevitably would come. Only there was no way to make money from that… until I invented football trading that was.
I felt like a genius!
The next day at work I explained my idea to several people who seemed interested at first but eventually made their excuses as soon as the word “Betfair” and betting was involved.
So I began to search on Google to see if anyone else shared my vision and I was in for another nasty surprise…
I had not “invented” football trading at all. In fact, there was already a few blogs and discussions online about it.
Suddenly, I felt like a fool!
Whilst there were some websites talking about football trading strategies and methods there was hardly any solid information to go with. Even if I wanted to buy a course to teach me the basics I couldn’t. There were some PDF systems on sale but they were very sketchy and looked like they were written by kids.
So from that point I dedicated time to watching the football markets and developing strategies. What followed was sleepless nights filled with Betfair related dreams, blowing bank after bank, false dawn after false dawn. I went through it all.
But it was worth it….
But by around 2008 I was finally at the point where I decided to kiss the matched betting side of things goodbye.
It was good to give me an initial trading bank but I soon realised I was trying to lock in small profits like £2.77 on a match that I was trading with £100-£200 stakes and it did not make sense any more.
So matched betting was great for a time but eventually the time comes to “graduate” on to things that can potentially make much more money. By that point I was really scraping the barrel when it came to new offers and the bookmaker boom was slowly dying down.
So whilst I did not quite invent football trading that day, it was definitely a turning point in my life as I began to discover the vast possibilities that sports trading can provide.
But I do want to stress that my journey to become “profitable” at sports trading was not an easy one and much of it depended on finding the RIGHT strategy to trade with and the RIGHT mental approach.
But you must be exhausted so I am going to leave it there but tomorrow I will email you and tell you about my quest for the “perfect football trading strategy” and how I managed to eventually become profitable myself. (Something I want to help you achieve much quicker than it took me)
So watch out for my (much shorter) email tomorrow and in the meantime, here is a video of mine that I think you should check out.
When I first started to go “PRO” with football trading I was obsessed with the “Lay The Draw” strategy (like many). And in this video I demonstrate the BEST time of the match to lay the draw and the types of matches to do it on.
You should enjoy this (and it is on youtube) >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnSCt0A-w0I&t=7s
The email subject line to look out for tomorrow is “My quest for the PERFECT football trading strategy”. This is where things get really interesting!
In case you missed it, make sure to check out some of my Lay The Draw trading demonstrations in this video > https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnSCt0A-w0I&t=7s