10 Questions With Caan Berry: Pro Betfair Trader

Caan Berry is a professional Betfair trader. Recently, in a unique interview for the Betfair Hub, we asked about his journey to becoming a trader, along with advice for those wanting to do the same.

For more from Caan Berry, check out his articles on the Betfair Hub.

What got you interested in being a Betfair trader?

In many respects, it was a fluke.

I’d been using Betfair for a while but didn’t realise the potential available via the exchange. I was just having the occasional bet on the horses. I struggle to remember what came first, but around the same time, I found the Geeks Toy trading software and see an article about a uni-student that was making money on the exchange.

Naturally, I was intrigued as I already used the exchange. Once I understood the basic mechanics of trading bets I couldn’t leave it alone.

Do you need an advanced setup to trade effectively?

Many have this wrong.

All you need to get started is a stable internet connection and a laptop computer. Having a few extra gadgets and some more screen-space is a bonus but it’s not a must.

I wouldn’t advise trading from a phone or laptop if you’re serious, particularly if we’re talking about short-term trading. There’s just too much information to process.

How much profit can successful Betfair traders make?

Professional Betfair traders are usually quite guarded about their earnings for all sorts of reasons. The majority of punters and traders lose, that’s a fact, but for a small portion of successful users, the returns are well into the hundreds of thousands.

Traders are often risk-averse in nature, so I think it’s fair to say they make up a fair portion of successful exchange users.

As a starting point, it’s probably best to have realistic expectations and focus on the process of extracting value consistently, rather than counting the imaginary pile of cash you could earn!

What sports are best to trade on Betfair’s Exchange?

There’s an opportunity in every sport if you’re looking to bet big the answer might be Cricket or Football.

However, if you’re talking about regular opportunities over and over I’d say horse racing. It’s quite unique in the sense pricing is subjective. This can lead to excessive emotion in the market place which leads to exploitable value.

Also, there are thousands of races each year and betting volumes are high.

Which Betfair trading software do you use and why?

Personally, I use a Geeks Toy Pro, I always have done. I tried some of the others but they just didn’t offer the same level of flexibility and customization. Plus Geeks is one of the cheapest.

I think it’s really important to make sure your setup, both physical and software suit your trading style. For example, if you’re trading the Match Odds market on the Cricket your needs are very different to that of someone trading a 20 horse race.

Do you have a favourite trading method? Can you tell us more?

Over the years my approach has evolved a fair amount. Typically I prefer scalping though, it’s far easier to be right for a very short period of time than it is over the longer-term.

This means I’m usually more active in the market just before post time. When punters are showering the market with bets either side of the spread it’s possible to soak up that genuine betting liquidity for a profit, even if the margin is small. Then it’s onto the next race to do it all over again.

As a pro horse racing trader, what are working hours like?

The biggest perk of being a Betfair trader is being your own boss. I like to make the most of that, which means my schedule can vary a fair amount.

As long as I arrive in the office for an hour or so before the first race, not much else matters. On high profile race days, I’ll be there earlier but the flexibility and nobody to answer to is a big deal for me.

Once the racing has finished for the day I tend to stay longer at the moment but that’s just because I’m invested in other projects too. In the early days, I lived the party-goers lifestyle, I would turn up last minute and leave as soon as the days racing had finished. It was cool, but I couldn’t keep that up forever!

What was your biggest mistake when learning?

The biggest mistake I made was focusing on the wrong areas. The inclination is to look at betting markets and attempt to predict the outcome.

That’s not how profitable trading works.

By focusing on market characteristics and limitations it’s far easier to see where the bias in the market is. Once you pinpoint that in a betting market your chances of success increase drastically. You’re looking for current value, and then playing the percentages over and over.

How long did it take you to become a regular winner?

Rather embarrassingly, my early record-keeping was poor so I can’t give you an exact answer. I think it took around 6-12 months before I nudged ahead of that break-even though.

Early learning was frustrating, I spent a while making small but consistent gains only to be knocked back drastically by a lapse in discipline. It’s a funny thing, but once you realise how important your own self-control is you just stop making those foolish snap-decisions.

What advice would you give to aspiring Betfair traders?

There have been some hints already but the top 3 things would be:

Specialise in a specific area of the market first. There are so many variables it can become confusing. You need to focus your attention on understanding what is happening in front of you, and then have an idea of how big the bias is. You won’t achieve this by jumping from one strategy to the next.

Form a long-term plan. Professional Betfair traders don’t wake up profitable one day, it’s going to take a little time to master this new skill. The quickest route to success is to realise you’re better planning to learn everything over the next 6 months. Anything earlier is a bonus.

Learn about market traits and limitations. These are the weak spots open to exploitation, for example in tennis; if a tennis player is a double break up, it’s likely their price can’t shorten much more until the next set. Whereas if they lose their double break, the price movement will be dramatic.

Beyond this, the Betfair Hub seems pretty resourceful with some good articles, aside from that readers may want to check out my blog at caanberry.com.

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