Tuesday, 6 December 2011

John O'Dwyer Interview: Review

Many thanks once again to John for agreeing to take part in my interview. I did feel as though many of the answers given only raised more questions, so felt it would be interesting to delve into them. I'm not looking to have a dig at John in any way but his blog has a lot of followers and I do think the situation he is in is one which many traders will find themselves in. Therefore, some important topics such as 'value', 'bank size', 'edges' and 'pressure' should be discussed. However, Cassini from 'Green All Over' does a much more effective job than I can of dissecting the interview and so I shall point you in his direction.

I can't help thinking that it doesn't really make sense for someone who believes that they have an edge, to ignore that edge until they gamble their way to a fixed amount of money. Surely if you know you have an edge and have already proved it, it shouldn't matter how small your bank is; just keep doing what you were doing when you were making money!

I agree when John says that a big bank does give a person extra confidence and stability but maybe that is the problem; it shouldn't make you any more confident because a consistent, profitable strategy is ultimately what should give you confidence. If a person is using good money management and using stakes that are adjusted to the size of their bank, surely confidence is always at the same level because it will still take the same number of losses to wipe you out, regardless of how much you have?

I don't wish to be too critical because I actually think I know what John is trying to do because I've done it myself in the past. My belief is that he is simply being too impatient. He's trying to build his bank up quickly and to do this in his usual way would have taken a long time, so instead, he's tried to short-cut his way to a big bank by straight-betting. When he gets to that £1000, he'll then do what he did before (trade out instead of risking it all) but the greens he'll be getting will be much bigger and the bank will grow quickly with less effort. I've done very similar things in the past as I've chased back losses with straight bets instead of proper trading. So I do empathise with John but I wonder if he'd just started from the beginning, slowly and patiently building up using small stakes and trading properly, where would he be by now? If he does indeed have an edge, no doubt he would have gone well past that £1000 mark.

But this impatience is always born out of underlying factors (and he does mention 'outside influences', which I know from reading his blog is financial troubles), and pressure to make money is usually the biggest one. I should know because it's been my downfall as a trader. So although I have my doubts about O'Dwyer's trading techniques, I wish him all the best because I have a feeling I know what he has gone through over the past year and it isn't pleasant. And I'm damn sure that there are many people out there who have gone into full-time betting / trading and made similar mistakes. But sometimes you have to just admit that you have got it wrong and start over again from scratch. That is a very hard thing to do though, to throw away months or years of working in a particular way and search for a new strategy. I had to do that myself this year but it may well turn out to be the best thing I've ever done.

Here's world number 19, Russia's Svetlana Kuznetsova:

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