Monday, 6 November 2017

The Mug v Shrewd Trader Checklist: Which One Are You?

There's nothing more damning or shameful in the betting world than to be labelled a mug. I've seen arguments on forums between traders where this one, 3 letter word, is thrown around liberally as the ultimate derogatory term. It seems to bring the very worst out in people! You could put a gambler down by slagging off their Mum or questioning their sexual orientation but it means NOTHING compared to the assertion that you just might be gullible when it comes to placing money on sporting outcomes. That you've been suckered in somehow; perhaps by the lure of a big name playing a "no-hoper" or that FREE money lying around the tennis markets. It suggests that we are stupid when it comes to money, lacking capability when it comes to sporting knowledge - a double whammy for most men in this testosterone fuelled world!

We all want to believe we are not the stereotypical mug trader, right? It's not as simple as just looking at your P&L. We all know of the trader who does all the wrong things, yet still flukes himself some profit - in the short term. No, what makes a true shrewdie, is one who does the right things, day in, day out, trade after trade, rain or shine, hangover or no hangover. It's all about the process......though of course, if there's still no profit after the correct processes, then you're still a mug!

 Well now is your chance to put the argument to bed once and for all. The following list of 20 things that your typical shrewd trader will almost certainly do and 20 things your mug punter will usually do, will give you some idea as to where you are on the sliding scale of Shrewd to Mug. For every Shrewd thing that you can honestly agree with that you do (and 1 time doesn't count!) you gain 5 points. But for every Mug thing you do, you lose 5 points. The max score is 100, lowest is -100. Let's see just how good a trader you really are.........

A shrewd choice of Eugenie Bouchard photo, I think you'll agree



  1. Takes detailed notes on EVERY trade
  2. Warms up before every session (i.e. no firing up the ladder and going straight into the market, cold)
  3. Does research before every match
  4. Cools down after every session (i.e. analyses notes and/or prepares for next session)
  5. Does statistical analysis of P&L results (every day, week or month)
  6. Does self development or psychological work to strengthen mindset
  7. Never, ever chases losses
  8. Looks for value on EVERY trade
  9. Is constantly reading, learning and looking to improve
  10. Knows his strategy inside out and never strays from it
  11. Always re-invests some profit into the trading bank
  12. Is not concerned with following the market/money or picking the winner of the match
  13. Has a solid staking plan that he knows by heart
  14. Knows their strike rate and how often they need to win (at least roughly) to be profitable
  15. Has been consistently profitable for at least one year
  16. Never gets distracted by anything whilst trading (family, friends, internet, phone, TV) 
  17. Uses the bank primarily as a safeguard against a bad run of losses, not as funding for trades
  18. Does not allow losses to affect them personally / put them in a bad mood
  19. Has a back up plan in case internet and/or betting exchange goes down
  20. Learns or has learned, from other successful traders, rather than just trial and error


  1. Never takes notes or only writes down numbers, with no explanations
  2. Goes in cold to every trade, never or rarely with any prep work
  3. Zero research or just a quick look at H2H or one simple stat
  4. Never does specific work away from the ladders, on mindset, psychology or self development
  5. Never reads trading-related books or stopped a while back
  6. Chases losses, even if just on the odd occasion
  7. Cannot quickly and confidently say what his bank management strategy is
  8. Messes around online or on his phone at same time as trading
  9. Does not feel secure with strategy and often experiments with new ones (especially during a bad run)
  10. Does not understand the concept of value or understands it but never looks for it
  11. Places trades based purely on the action in the match, rather than the price
  12. Takes out all profit and never leaves it in trading bank to re-invest
  13. Mostly looks to follow the market/money and get on the winner
  14. Randomly chooses stakes sizes with little or no thought behind the decision
  15. Never analyses P&L results to find trends and see what is working or not
  16. Does not know their strike rate
  17. Regularly risks large portions of their bank on one trade (over 50%)
  18. Lets a losing trade dictate how they feel emotionally e.g. makes them angry, sad, frustrated
  19. Blames other people or the market for losses 
  20. Tries to trade several matches at once, despite never being consistently profitable with just one match



100 = You are the very definition of SHREWD. If you are not a very profitable trader, then I'm afraid you need to be more honest with your answers......

50 = You're probably a half-decent trader......but you can still improve with a few tweaks here and there. Or you have been quite successful but only short term. If you don't up your game though, it won't last.

0 = Borderline mugage. You haven't worked out how to trade effectively yet. You're not a total lost cause though. Unless you've been doing this for years. Then you really should consider giving up.....

-50 = You're a MUG. Sorry but you need to be told the truth. Accept this fact and you might just be able to learn, change and become shrewd in time.

-100 = How are you even able to afford the internet access required to read this blog post?! Try crochet or something with less risk involved, because trading isn't for you. Careful with that needle though......

OK, that was all just a bit of fun! However, there may be some truth in your results.......if you haven't quite made it as a bonafide shrewdie yet, maybe I can help? Check out my Sultan Tennis Trading Guide for more details.

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