Amazing Markets! They just will not break! Yet!!!

11:10 Update

We had no plays on Tuesday which is a rare day. But the schedule has lightened up a bit as both the NBA and NHL are getting ready for the playoffs. In addition college hoops is winding down with the sweet 16 this weekend. Typically the last few weeks of the NBA and NHL tend to tighten up on plays as there is an added element of motivation for the bottom dwelling teams in addition to the risk adverse front runners. Much different then the regular season.

Also as you know from some of the games I have commented on that have a high public number on them these are games that historically have done very well where you can disregard the public. And that is a rare instance that I can say that. So far on these games I am 3-1. They were not put out as plays or setups but merely mentioned as being favorites you might consider. I will keep mentioning them for subscribers. In addition I may include them as plays next season. I keep saying that but as I am so driven to only wager as a contrarian its tough to get used to betting a team that might have 75% of the betting on them:)

Tonight I have briefly taken a look at the games and it appears at the very least we should have a few 1/2 unit plays in the NBA and there is one game right now that falls into the Favorite category I just mentioned.

College hoops tonight does not look very good right now but tomorrow looks like the strongest day of the two for the sweet 16. Should be 1 or 2 plays tomorrow in the NCAA Tournament.

I have a bit of time this morning so let me share a discussion I had with a subscriber yesterday:

“I understand that a unit should not be more than 2% of your bankroll. However, I am not clear on what exactly that means. For example, if I had a $500 bankroll, 2% of that would be $10. What’s not clear to me is does that mean I should be betting $10 to win $9.10? Or should I be betting $11 to win $10, thereby making my unit size 2.2%?
Additionally, if I wanted to bet a moneyline of -125, would I bet $10 to win $8? Or would I bet $12.50 to win $10? If the moneyline was +125, would I bet $8 to win $10? Or would I bet 10 to win $12.50?
Obviously with this small a bankroll it wouldn’t make or break a person. I think the concept may be important however. I’ve seen different ways that people talk about unit size as I research sports betting. Is there a “right” way of figuring unit size? Is one way mathematically better as I saw one site argue?”
My Response:
“The way I do it is 2% would be the amount I would win. So if your unit size is 10$ then your laying 11 to win 10.  Now if you wanted to be more conservative which is fine you can make your unit size the amount you wager. Either way is fine. There is no magical number but the concept of having a unit size based upon a % of your bankroll and sticking to it is important.
The only time to alter the 2% would be if you have multiple wagers going at the same time. Then you want to reduce your unit size to say 1.5%. For instance on a busy day if we had 5 wagers at noon then you need to reduce your unit size and therefore, reduce your risk.
But again nothing magical…it’s the concept and sticking to it that is important.”
Further question:
“Would that be true on parlay bets as well as futures bets, if you were to make those type of bets? For example if the Packers were +500 to win the Superbowl, you would bet $2 to win $10?
Could you explain why you would reduce the risk via unit size when making multiple wagers at the same time? It would seem to me that a play worth a 1 unit bet is always worth a 1 unit bet and is independent of the other bets. What am I missing?
You don’t have to answer these following questions as they are not sports related, but I respect your opinion on how you go betting in general, so I thought I’d ask. What would be your recommendations for learning to play poker at a high level? Books, software, poker sites, etc. And what would be the bankroll for poker players? I’ve heard 300 big blinds as a guideline in a couple of places. So, for a 5-10 limit hold ’em game, the bankroll would be $3,000. How high of stakes does one have to play at to make a living? Any help to get in the right direction regarding poker is appreciated!”
My response:

“Reducing unit size with multiple bets has nothing to do with EV. It is for reducing the effect of variance. As far as parlays my advice is to forget about them. The juice is much too high. Just straight bet your plays.
As far as poker…when I get some time today I will give you my take. Right now I am engulfed in trading these markets!”
Now since I have some time here are my observations regarding poker.
To learn how to play at a high level all depends on your success at the lower levels. In addition, it would also depend upon your risk tolerance. There are many books. Many online coaching sites. The list is never ending as to where you can get educated in playing high stakes poker. However, the best teacher is real time play. My suggestion is you pick a level your comfortable at now and track your play for 3 to 6 months. See where your results come in after 500 hours or so. Then if you’re at a win rate that shows you’re a winning player at that level and game slowly move up for another 3 to 6 months with the same analysis at the end of that time.
As far as bankroll requirements 300 big bets is a good place to start for determining your bankroll size. But let me mention if you not a positive EV player then it’s not going to make any difference.  So yes 3,000 for a 5-10 game if you’re a winning player that is using good game selection should be sufficient. But keep in mind that at 5 10 limit the rake becomes a significant factor. I really do not think there is much money in a 5 10 limit game with a full rake for a winning player.  At that limit, you might be able to grind out a small profit yearly but you would have to be on the top of your game all of the time.
As far as making a living. It all depends on the type of lifestyle you want to live. Its an interesting problem about playing higher. Sure with higher limits you have the potential to make more money. But typically the higher you go the better the best players in the game are going to be. You are always going to have dead money in the game at all limits. But dead money at limit poker is not that easy to obtain. And at higher limits you’re going to have to deal with a sophisticated play, you won’t see at the lower limits.
A good example is the concept wysig. At the lower limits what you see is typically what you get. At the higher limits, there is more subterfuge and advanced play.
Finally to end this up. There are very few players that play day in and day out at the poker tables that make money at all let alone make a living at it. When you hear players talk about how much the make each year the only way to evaluate that is to start out dividing the number they tell you by 10. Then start from the new number:)
A few years ago I was approached by a top no limit player that is one of the few that does well in the Bellagio poker room. And he mentioned to me that one of the players that played in the 30/60 Omaha 8 game had mentioned to him that he was making 140,000 a year in the game. He was wanting my opinion if that kind of money could be made in the game. I told him that the player that told him that to get an accurate amount he was making a year in the game you would have to subtract 200,000 from the number he said!
The odds of making enough money to live comfortably playing poker alone is very low. Sure there are some that do. But for every 1 that does there are 1000 that do not. And that might even be a low ratio.
But maybe you fall into that category and since I do not know you from the poker world I really could not tell. But I would be happy to answer any more questions regarding poker. It’s always good to be able to find someone that can give you a non-ego related answer to poker issues:)
Ok…back to the markets…….
RickJ’s Handicapping Picks

I woke up this morning to see gold and silver plunging. I had put on several swing trades yesterday in gold and silver so more than likely will be out of both trades either shortly after the open or I might give it some room. Just depends on how things look after the open. The dollar is heading up again thanks to the jawboning of the Fed. And thus, metals and I guess most commodities are following suit.

I was waiting for a pullback, however, the way things are shaping up so far this week it’s looking like a consolidation. Those tend to be bullish based upon the previous few weeks so I would expect another move up shortly from here. In addition, the sentiment is not very bullish right now which as a contrarian could support another rally from here.

We are pretty much just flat for the month of our trades. If you have been following my market posts you are most likely getting an idea how complex these markets really are. The variables are immense and are not necessarily logical. Then you have news driven events , seasonal patterns, herd mentality , in other words, they are endless. In addition, you have everyone and their brother making predictions. If you think handicapping sports are difficult to stock trading is x10 in difficulty compared.

I have said before that the absolute best approach to trading these markets is Mean Reversion. But it’s not without risk. First almost every study I have read indicates that stops decrease EV. So to trade them properly…no stops! Next, you have to pick the best indicator or indicators that will trigger mean reversion trades. RSI2, DVM, MACD, etc….the options are endless.

But not matter what you decide to do in trading the most important thing is position sizing. Sound familiar? I am mentioned that many times regarding handicapping sports and its equally true trading. If you do not have a method you cannot win. Human nature will destroy you. Even myself at times can get caught up in the Fear and Greed cycle that drives these markets to extremes.

Enough rambling …The market has taken a dip now 7 min before the open and it looks like a reasonable opportunity for a gap fill trade shortly after the open.

Also, you can follow my trades by following @rickjswings. It’s a private feed but right now access is free.

Good Luck Today Trading


RickJ’s Handicapping Picks


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