BETDAQ EXCHANGE VIEW:  In the first of several interviews with Professional Traders using BETDAQ, Stephan Maher chats to Caan Berry about his Trading strategy.

Caan started Trading on Exchange 6 years ago with a lot of success. There is no sport, no market, no game that he hasn’t traded in and provides a fascinating insight into the world of Sports Trading.

Stephen Maher: Thanks for doing this Caan, so for anyone that doesn’t know you, can you tell them a bit about yourself?

Caan Berry: Sure, I’ve been trading betting exchanges for nearly 6 years now, several of which as a full time income. I first came across betting exchanges all that time ago through having the occasional bet on the Horse Racing. Once I realised it was possible to only be partially right and still win it was a no-brainer!

Like many I used to be quite good at predicting horses that would come second, which was the inital attraction. From there I moved into making money from the odds movements before the start.

SM: I’ve a good nak of predicting seconds too, except I back them to win! So do you only trade Horse Racing or do you do other sports too?

CB: I have a growing interest in tennis markets at the moment too. That’s going pretty well. Over my time on betting exchanges I’ve tried pretty much most sports; football, tennis, political markets, and TV shows like X-Factor, big brother etc.

Although Horse Racing makes up the vast majority of my income. For me its far easier, and a little more interesting, plus there are a lot more races each day to make money in.

SM: When do you usually start on a Horse Racing market – how far out from the off would you start – would you wait for the late movements or would you build positions from in the morning? Do you think its easier to beat the market earlier on because the very late money is usually shrewd money?

CB: I’ve always been quite lazy in the past and just traded the movements in the final 10 minutes, despite the shrewd money there’s always plenty left on the table. If anything I like the large gambles coming in late as they are more predictable. That said, I’ve started earlier too around 11am is the earliest I get involved (excluding large meetings like Ascot).

It’s interesting you say about ‘beating the market’. In trading I don’t see it like that, the market’s just the market. You don’t need to beat it a such, but more a case of going with the flow. It’s quite possible to make an above average income from going with the flow on tiny stakes of £50 – £200’s.

It takes seconds to make money. For example if you back a horse at 6.6 for £100 and lay it off at 6.00 you can make £9.90 profit. Before the race starts, if you think there’s 30 races a day, its a considerable income.

SM: That’s interesting. I trade cricket full time, but on the horses I’d just punt and not trade, so its a different mindset, but if I did trade them I think I’d find it hard to keep stakes low. How much would you turnover on average a day? And would you have a set plan for the day, would you highlight certain horses that you think could come in or drift?

CB: Yes, crossing interest in sports can lead to over-staking if you’re successful in another.

I haven’t looked for a long time (over a year) although the last time I looked I had turned over £500k in an afternoon, maximum exposure of around £2,000 at a time. You have to remember though, I’m using larger stakes and scalping a fair amount with that.

I do have a set routine for the day. It’s all too easy to be a bit lazy, but I’m happy doing as I do rather than sitting here every hour of the day. There’s no point being the richest man in the graveyard, right?

It’s often possible to highlight a few opportunities in a day earlier on, although I don’t like to enter the market (for any kind of sizeable stake anyway) until it is fairly fluid. I need to have money to get out against just in case something changes. That’s the key to winning consistently a lot of the time, realising that the situation can change. You’re just dealing in probabililty at the end of the day and things change regularly.

SM: Yeah true. When you started out, did you ever fall into the trap of letting a trade run too long? What is your biggest loss?

CB: Of course. I done everything wrong that was humanly possible. It’s a bit like that famous saying about only being successful because I ran out of ways to fail! Haha.

The tricky part is getting out of the gambling mindset and learning that making the occasional loss is just part of business. You need them to complete the day! But by having a decent understanding of the markets and yourself you’ll soon know if you’re on holding onto a trade on borrowed time.

My biggest loss? Pfffft. Would have been a long time ago, when I started I had a little habit of letting a trade go in-play because I couldn’t hack losing (chase mentality) so I’m guessing it would have been around £1,500.

I don’t keep records of biggest losses etc as I find it just has a negative impact on the days trading.

SM: Only £1,500, you need to up stakes! Mine is €7,500 haha! I’ve never lost five figures in a day though which is a good record to keep I suppose! Yeah mindset is probably the most important angle when betting and trading – in that regard what advice would you give to someone just starting out?

CB: Yes of course. Everyone’s angle into the markets is different. Your own self control and mental approach is all part of it.

Personally I couldn’t cope with a loss of £7,500. I don’t like losing at all really. I’d much rather go through a days trading and just make £5, £10, £20 in every race and of course the occasional £100 when I’m certain, I’m less stressed at the end of the day too! Although I do appreciate some traders have profit and losses that look more like a roller-coaster, steady and consistent wins the race for me!

The best advice is to know yourself, we’re all different. If you cant stomach the higher peaks and lows just stick with what works for you. Ignoring that you’re as important as what you know about the market is probably the most dangerous thing for any trader.

SM: I realise this interview will be hosted by Betdaq Tips and its convenient to ask this question, but its the natural thing to ask here with that answer. With that approach I presume you’re now paying Premium Charge on Betfair? What percentage are you on?

CB: Yeah read about my views on it here.

SM: With that in mind then, I presume you’d given Betdaq a good go, what do you think about liquidity there at the moment?

CB: Yes, I’ve been looking at Betdaq recently. Liquidity has obviously increased since this time last year, which is promising. With more liquidity around post time it would be a reasonable alternative to other exchanges.

On a Saturday afternoon its definitely trade-able, particularly when Betdaq’s main competitor crashes!
(*On Saturday October 24th Betfair crashed for nearly the whole afternoon on Saturday.)

SM: There’s always a 50/50 response when Betfair crashes, half say they’re moving to Betdaq and half give out about liquidity. Betdaq need to provide the best possible platform to provide liquidity but I think when Betfair crashes people can’t moan to Betdaq without doing anything themselves. What do you think about that?

CB: I think that’s a fair comment, although Betdaq may need to do a little more to increase liquidity. At the moment there is a great incentive for current premium charge payers as there is no PC on Betdaq. But the average punter has very little.

It’s a shame as the way the bookmaking industry operates its pretty misleading for the average punter. All they see is ‘free bet’ but of course, you and I know it’s not free, and they’re ushered towards a sportsbook at poor value odds. But I guess that’s another topic.

It does seem as though Betfair are moving away from the exchange model towards another conventional bookmaker, which will open up the gap for competition in my eyes. That’s the hope anyway.

SM: That’s true – for example with Twitter knowledge these days, the days of bragging about £200 on a 16/1 winner with a bookmaker are gone, because anyone who has a clue will instantly know that that person is a long term loser if he’s getting that bet laid. How do you see the next three years going in the betting world? See any major changes?

CB: I’m not sure to be honest. I’d like to see a competitor take Betfair on seriously, to do that though they would need to educate the masses. I’m not sure why it hasn’t happened before to be honest.

If the masses knew how a book worked and how the margins involved worked, in comparison to exchanges then practically nobody would use a bookie. No matter how many free bets or women they have wearing their attire! It’d probably bring an influx of traders too with all the money on offer. Hopefully something like that will happen.

For me, I’m just happy chugging along. Betting exchanges have given me more than any other job could have. I certainly wouldn’t ever be able to match the income in 10 hour working days let alone 4 or 5!

SM: I wouldn’t have started these interviews if I wasn’t assured Betdaq are going to do big things in 2016. The new website was a good start, I think its a big improvement and things can only get better.

Thanks for doing this again Caan and good luck.

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