It's been great to meet you!

Recent goings on mean that I publish this article sooner than I imagined. I retired from full-time work in 2002 in my mid thirties. Lucky to have worked in The City though with misgivings. Even luckier to have been offered a redundancy package. Sensible enough not to have wasted my money on any of the pleasures London has to offer.

Therefore my reasons for entering the world of sports trading were not the same as most others. I don't need the money. However, I did want to put to good use all that I had learned in the financial markets. Hence, this website and two books (1) were written.

In The City I saw a lifestyle that appalled me. The worship of money. A system that was meant to aid economies, and take the poor out of poverty, corrupted by greedy people. I had wanted to do good in The City, for the betterment of mankind but it was not to be. The City and financial markets across the globe have become casinos where leeches extract blood money on a daily basis.

And so too do I see the same in sports trading, where exchanges charge more than is due and third-parties extract yet more money through subscriptions, worthless tips and dubious educational material. As if sports trading isn't hard enough, the cost of doing so diminishes the profits of the few who are successful and gives another kick in the teeth to those who are already down. And woe betide anyone who attempts to point out the skulduggery rampant in sports trading.

My intentions were to show people how not to lose money rather than promise them how to get rich quick. The first book I published, Programming for Betfair, is a manual to aid those wanting to write their own trading software and avoid subscription fees.

A second book, Betfair Trading Techniques, points people in the right direction with regards to the search for edge and a survey of current trading methods and which to avoid. Both books are available on Amazon with a money back guarantee and are independently reviewed by readers, unlike ebooks bought via PayPal.

If my books or my website articles have the negative effect of turning people off sports trading then I regard that as much of a success as anyone who makes a profit. It is better to walk away having broken even and realising how hard the game is rather than losing money through third-parties who do not have their interest at heart.

A few months ago I used the term "The Chuckle Brothers" (a pair of UK children's entertainers) to refer to two well-known sports traders. However, a rather pompous programmer called Paul Spry (owner of the dated Geeks Toy) incorrectly thought that I was referring to him. When I last used the term Mr Spry attempted to throw his toys out of his pram and maliciously display a photo of my parents' home.

Mr Spry should stick to programming in his back bedroom as he is none too skilled at using Google Street View, whose address algorithm is always a few doors off. The house shown was owned by a neighbour, who has since moved, taking his caravan with him.

I haven't lived in that street as a resident for over 25 years. Instead, I have been living in Madrid (and elsewhere) and only returning to the UK to vote or for visits. Surely, nobody is that stupid to think that someone who worked in computer security in the past wouldn't cover his tracks online?

As they say, "birds of a feather flock together" so now it makes perfect sense why Messer's Berry and Spry should have teamed up. Two peas in a pod, unskilled in basic public relations and unable to tell the difference between criticism and maliciousness.

Death threats received through this website and intimidation (2) via the breaking of Twitter's terms and conditions (whether related cannot be proven without resort to the courts) have all been noted by the relevant authorities so any physical harm done will mean that those same authorities will have some leads to go on.

Curiously, the maliciousness of Messer's Berry and Spry was mentioned in Cassini's blog, Green All Over, who was also the person who published a photograph of Berry's address (I never did such an act). A comment by Mr Spry on the Green All Over website made no mention of Cassini being the publisher and was quite cordial towards Cassini. Very curious indeed!

The constant online bickering between Berry/Spry, Webb and "The Badger" (another trader linked to trading software) is pathetic. They are all pigs in a trough fighting over the scraps. Others have done their due diligence and used simple logic to come to the conclusion that the aforementioned are no longer what they say they are, if they ever were in the first place.

So what of me? What am I really? Simply I am someone sick of leeches in all walks of life. I had no chance fighting against the money men in finance and so I decided to look at sports trading instead.

The concept of the betting exchange had so much promise but it has been destroyed by greed. Betfair's greed is demonstrated by the premium charge, which punishes the successful.

However, everyone is punished - be they winners or losers - by the licensing of trading software. Because Betfair licences trading software, vendors are forced to pass on this charge to traders in the form of subscriptions, which can be thought of as additional commission eating into any profits. So much money is generated by subscriptions that being a licensed software vendors is very lucrative. This creates a conflict of interest.

Most trading software vendors either purport to be traders themselves or employ traders to educate newcomers to trading. The conflict of interest is that, win or lose, software vendors make a lot of money from subscriptions and don't need to trade at all. The educational side of their business is just their to promote subscriptions, the majority of which will be bought by losing traders or, if successful, punished punitively by Betfair.

On top of this, Betfair is a virtual monopoly. Competitors come and go but Betfair keeps generating profits for its shareholders and associates. It is about time government did something about this state of affairs. There needs to be more competition. Less restrictive practices. Less conflict of interest.

I stopped being a beta tester of Betfair's new API and communicating with Betfair in the middle of 2016 when Betfair decided to force a £200 one-off fee on anyone using the API for live data. Yet another act of greed by Betfair.

Do I trade now? No. I switched my bots off at the beginning of the year. Diminishing returns meant that it wasn't worth the bother. I was never in the business of making outstanding profits, just researching what was possible. But, even that became tedious. Threatening behaviour didn't help either.

Does this mean that sports trading is dead? No. Not if you are courtside, pitchside or course side, part of an insider trading syndicate or colluding with Betfair to extract subscriptions, premium charges or fees for API live data keys.

Is my retirement a victory for manual trading? No. Trading for everyone, be they manual or algo traders, gets harder every year as the businessmen and syndicates grab an ever larger slice of the pie.

Eventually, sports markets will be updating so quickly that manual trading will give way to algo-trading, which will be perfected by quantum computing such that all markets will be efficient to the degree that only insiders and cheats can win. To disagree is to delude yourself.

I am surprised I sold so many books. It rather took me by surprise and shows there is a large group of people looking at alternatives and thinking carefully before jumping into sports trading. Did I make a lot of money from the books? No. They took a year of preparation and writing, and I made less money than if I had a zero hours contract with a fast food chain.

Am I proud of the books and the articles I have written? Yes. I and others have seen through the bull. We can only hope that the 90% and more who are destined to lose money from sports trading/betting either keep control of their habit, give it up or be sufficiently resourced to compete with the large profitable concerns.

But be warned. As my experience shows, when you step on the toes of those who make profits by whatever means from sports trading then there are no depths they will go to silence you.

The "fame" received via this website and the books I have written has been hard to shoulder. I am not one for whom a public persona comes easily. No doubt it will be seen by some as a victory for my detractors. They would be foolish to think so. Sports trading gets harder every year, never easier.

Now it is time to enjoy a full retirement and will no longer be consulting. If you trade on sports markets then ensure that you do so as cheaply as possible. Read the other 195 pages (3) on this website. It will cost you nothing. Always investigate the opposite view of those telling you how easy trading is.

There are no shortcuts so don't pay people anything for offering you non-existent shortcuts. If you think you can trade without a deep mathematical and logical understanding of what you are doing then think again. Good luck!

Addenda

(1) I will continue to support these books.

(2) I am not the first to receive threats and intimidation. See http://moneymakersreviewed.co.uk/caan-berry-betfair-trading-guide-review-pre-race-video-pack/#Police_Matter_8211_Threats_Received_8211_Trolling

(3) When you have written all there is to say about sports trading then it's time to call it a day. Sports trading is a simple subject to understand (if you are given the correct education) but difficult to profit from. Daily posting by software vendors is merely advertising in pursuit of subscriptions.

Note

In the interest of security I will be deleting all of the email addresses gathered during correspondence with my readership.

6 comments:

  1. pls dont leave, your web is a very good resource to learn and inspiration

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  2. And good luck to you, James.

    As someone who really enjoys your 'tell it like it is' approach, its a crying shame that your active involvement in this website (and your books) appears to be coming to an end. I hope not, but if it is then I would simply like to say thanks.

    Get out on your bike, James and 'may the road rise with you'

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  3. Just come across this ..shocking to say the least will read your site with interest..cheers.

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  4. Best of luck James, thanks for all the help, I was hoping you would write something on Augur, the blockchain trading platform, but alas it was not to be.

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  5. I literally came across this blog today :O

    Do any of you guys know if the books is still up to date? Could I create a simple bot using it?

    Programming for Betfair: A Guide to Creating Sports Trading Applications with API-NG

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  6. The book is always up-to-date. It contains a URL to a support page where updates are posted.

    A simple bot can easily be created.

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