Tennis Trading : Learning to trade tennis

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J.S.
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:15 am

Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:30 pm

I'm looking to expand my trading a bit, mainly as I am finding the horse racing rather dull in comparison to other sports. So I thought if I am to change I would look at trading sports I enjoy. I have always enjoyed watching tennis matches, and when I did try a while back to trade these markets it seemed the TV lag was always too far behind to ever get any value in the swings. I only ever made money by taking a risk on the player I thought would win the point or the game, however it did seem more like gambling so I decided to knock it on the head and focus on the racing at the time. I'd like to get back into it but not without the gambling side being too prominent.

Anyone on the forum trade tennis regularly at the moment? Would really like to hear from you, and whether you have any advice for a noob

I have seen a few tennis strategies for sale online, although I am always weary of these, perhaps it might be worth investing in one of these, anyone have any views or experience with these strategies available? Or perhaps even a recommendation?

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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Stewart
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:49 am
Location: Oohh Arrr - Suffoooolk

Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:03 am

Hi JS

The mentality to trade any sport in-play is different from that of pre-event and hence this is something you will need to adapt to. If your risk threshold is low then trading Tennis can be stressful!

Study the make up of the Tennis match - points, games and sets with the odds movements.

Generally, with Tennis (Darts is very similar) there is alot of volatility. Much depends on the players in the match, and what is happening. To have a long term view on the match in play you will need to watch the match and form an opinion, however, you need not have an opinion for a short term trade.

For instance, during the Federer v Murray final, set 3. Murrary was 2-0 (sets) down and had played OK but not that agressive with his service return - Federer was trading around the 1.10 mark at the start of the 3rd set. It's 'shit or bust' for Murray and at this stage there is still a possible 3 sets to go.

A lay of Federer here, makes relative sense cause downside is low and upside swing huge - if Murray broke first (and he did) price would drift (went to around 1.3), if he was broken first by Federer price would come in to between 1.01-1.03 (depending on stage of set).

Another strat is to gap fill, put two trades in 4/5 ticks apart and wait - you will need to make a judgement call when to do this, but in tight games the prices bounce around within a corridor, until a break of serve occurs.

As always start with small stakes and have a play but Tennis does offer some great opportunities.

Hope that helps for starters ;)

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LeTiss
Posts: 4112
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:04 pm

Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:19 am

Firstly, go to your Doctors & get an ECG test - You don't want to be trading Tennis with a weak heart! :lol:

It's very volatile, so Stewart is right, trading from point to point hoping for some good scalps is a white knuckle ride.

You need to have a good understanding of the players involved, current form, type of surface, and then make a judgement based on what you're watching

Once you've mastered Tennis trading, it's a tremendous earner

Nero Tulip
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:29 pm

Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:13 pm

I've traded tennis for 5/6 years almost full time. At the beginning it was relatively easy to trade, volatility was fantastic, I could get out easily, predictability of human tendencies was easy and most importantly, there were very few peple sat at the side of the court.

Now the markets have changed out of all recognition and your technical understanding of what in play trading actually means needs to be beyond that of mere mortals.

Firstly you are up against a £multimillion technological arms race. At virtually every tournament there will be several people sat in the stands with mobile devices programmed to enter bets with a single button push. These people are 6-8 seconds ahead of satelite tv - you should never ever leave a bet up during a point. Cancel at least 1 second prior to the server serving.

Some of these people are resellers, they play a speed game, taking the money off those unfortunate enough to leave bets up during points and reselling them at a discount to the market - ie. Not at the correct odds movement for the point, but slightly less. The market for this is probably worth in excess of £1m a year.

Other people sat courtside are match-readers. They use their position at the game to make judgement calls on the odds of who will win the match and punt accordingly. There are many subtleties that become apparent sat in the stands which you cannot see on television. Body language, poor fitness and requests for the trainer are always picked up first by these people.

If you think that's not a big deal, then you are also up against a lot of clever mathmaticians who have sophisticated tennis models. These aren't your standard probability trees either. It's OK saying there's a lot of upside here, or downside there, but do you really know the probability of the odds getting there, or the match progressing down such a path so that those odds become likely to be matched.

It's easy to forget that there is not just the probability of winning the match that's important. There is the probability of anything else occuring during the match, and the probability of the market reacting in such a way that makes your actions have a positive expectancy. Intra-match value is very different to match winning value.

Predicton
Posts: 281
Joined: Sun Sep 13, 2009 3:41 pm

Sat Feb 06, 2010 12:40 pm

Lol, well we seem to have both ends of the spectrum there, don't we?

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J.S.
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:15 am

Sun Feb 07, 2010 12:08 am

Guys thank you very much for your replies. These past few days have been very educational for me in regards to tennis trading. The on course money was something I noticed when I first started looking at the markets, and it seems scalping from point to point is a strategy destined for failure considering the disadvantages presented when armed with only TV pictures. The only angle I can see to be prominent is swing trading based on anticipated performance, and this of course requires knowledge and experience. This is also the angle I least liked and would of much preferred a mathematical or momentum approach, however with such fierce competition in this area I'm guessing my resources would be ineffective longterm.

I'm in two minds, as I often do find myself! whether to persue this or perhaps leave it as a sport to enjoy watching and stick to what I know I can profit on.

Thanks again for the replies, any more are also warmly welcomed.

Nero Tulip
Posts: 221
Joined: Wed Apr 15, 2009 5:29 pm

Sun Feb 07, 2010 8:14 am

Apologies if I put anyone off, they are great markets, I just wanted people to be aware that it's extremely hotly contested (and how) and to avoid a few pitfalls.

They are still tradeable though. You have to pick your spots carefully. In some ways I've developed too many models, dabbled with too much technology. You might find it easier than I, simply by reading the match and market sentiment. (You should almost always be with sentiment, that same is true for any market if you are planning on closing your position later.) My 2p :mrgreen:

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Stewart
Posts: 225
Joined: Wed May 27, 2009 10:49 am
Location: Oohh Arrr - Suffoooolk

Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:48 am

If you don't get wet you can't learn to swim :!:

Also if you like a sport you have a better chance of understanding it and hence (for in play anyway) making a go of trading it.

Best thing to do is take the same approach to when you first started trading - put small stakes into the market without thinking too much why and see what happens. As long as you record this you can start to build from there.

Also whilst sports can be modelled for trading and hence mathmatics can be used, then there is also a lot that can't. How do you model injury, how do model a rain delay which breaks the momentum, a tough line call that really upsets the player, idiots shouting during a serve, jockeys taking the wrong course, a football thay hits a ballon to score a goal? This is true in all sports.

Because of this there is always room for a trade and until the match/game/sport is finished the odds only reflect the opinion of what has happened and what is is likely to happen. Therein lies the opportunity ;)

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J.S.
Posts: 124
Joined: Sun Oct 18, 2009 4:15 am

Mon Feb 08, 2010 12:22 am

I much prefer an honest assessment of the markets, I really appreciate the responses, thanks again for that. It's definitely a sport I enjoy so I can't really lose by watching it more and using small stakes to get a feel for the markets :)

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LeTiss
Posts: 4112
Joined: Fri May 08, 2009 6:04 pm

Mon Feb 08, 2010 8:47 am

It's the ABN Amro Masters this week, so plenty of good tennis trading opportunities

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