By Stephen Maher at

I got a good comment last week on discipline, and basically how I managed to only bet/trade on certain sports compared to others. Its got to the stage where I know what I can do and I know what I cant – and I can accept what I cant do, example being I know I’m fairly shit at trading soccer, a shame because I love watching it but I just cant trade it. But what I normally do is, ever see those desk calendar thingys – Sunday night or Monday morning I’ll look at the schedule ( is handy at times) and pencil in the games I want to do.. obviously last week I put in England v Saffers as a priority and then things like India v New Zealand as a ‘maybe’ (which I didnt do as it turned out) and things like that. And in the future I’ve put in when the cricket World Cup is on.

So when I’m sitting at my desk, and on Betfair, I’m here for a reason – to work on whatever game – and when theres nothing on my schedule to do I wont go near Betfair, I never ever log into Betfair for entertainment, if I’ve a blank day (and there are a good few in the winter) I go off and find something else to do, and wouldnt even think of Betfair.

You know people always tend to say its ignorant when you dont follow all the news or current affairs happening around you, but I cant follow and do everything on Betfair – so if something happens in the tennis, its blunt but I really dont care, its none of my business, I can only care about so much stuff that goes on. Its a running joke here that ‘I live in a bubble’ but I’m not an expert on all sports so I have to live in a little (sports I can do) bubble to make things work.

The only way I can compare it to something is watching the news – if something happens in say France, sure who cares I live in Ireland, I wouldnt have a feckin’ clue what happened in a different country if it wasnt for the internet. Now thats probably ignorant, but same sort of thing with Betfair, if something happens on Snooker, sure who cares because I’m trading cricket/boxing/GAA at the time. Its impossible to do everything.

Obviously over time things change and I have to change with them or I get left behind, things get taken away from me, a lot more so than given, in running trading on horse racing got taken away with the start of people going to the course – that was more so to do with the technology that allowed it really, so doing it from home became unworkable (for me anyway). The darts, someone started going to all the Premier League games and was miles in front of the Betfair clock, that made it equally very hard to trade – you make a mistake youre punished without getting a chance to cancel and you do something right youre not matched. Boxing, Prizefighter changed the rules this year so that the draw is made live on Sky before the fights, I can completely understand it from a non-betting viewers point of view, but not giving us the markets until two minutes before the off was such a killer for liquidity. But sure I just dont put them down on the desk calendar and maybe put down an extra cricket match or GAA match (in the summer) and then instead of being at the desk for Fontwell on a Monday I’m off playing golf, gym, visiting the Grandparents doing odd jobs for them, having the usual date night, whatever, and I’m at my desk another time when theres something on thats fair to do (in the market sense of fair).

As for staking/chasing discipline, well I’ve never been a chaser – but clocking in and clocking out does help, because its like finishing work, I just go after the game is over without even thinking. Obviously its easier because there might be only one game I want to do most days, but when its over win or lose I clock off without thinking – IMO naturally horse racing is the most ‘chasy’ sport because theres a race every five minutes or so, even then I was never into chasing. Its just been imprinted into me that gambling never finishes because it just goes on and on and on, so being up/down at the end of a day is irrelevant – but I say irrelevant and then if given the chance to be level I always take it rather than risk losing, but I’m getting more risk averse as I get older, and try and pick positions that if things go wrong I can go level and if things go right I win – again, thats something thats changed with Betfair changing too, you can be risk averse on a test match no problem, you cant really be risk averse on a 5F sprint at The Curragh.

In terms of staking, I have always used the ‘feel it yourself’ idea that at the given time I’ll pick the stake anywhere between €50 and €500 on how confident I am at the time, its just the way I’ve always done it. Most of betting/trading is down to what suits the person rather than whats viewed as “normal” anyway, its all just down to what suits the individual.

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