Caan Berry is a professional Betfair trader who has been trading since 2006 and has been featured on Betfair Learning, BBC Radio 4, Betdaq Tips and The Gambling Times. He has established himself in the industry as a successful sports trader and along with trading full-time, offers a range of his own trading products.
We had the opportunity to speak with Caan and ask him some questions about his life, sports trading and what advice he would give to others who are considering getting into trading.
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Hi Caan. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.
You’re quite a prominent name in the sports trading industry but for those who may be new to the scene, could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your background?
Sure, my background is a little different to what most usually expect. I come from a working class background where times were hard. After messing up school and briefly working at McDonalds I joined the Army. This was where I first stumbled across exchange trading.
Most people expect me to say something like I have an advanced degree in mathematics or something, it’s really not the case though. I found all my edges through trial and error, reading up and persistence.
How did you initially get into trading?
I guess I briefly touched on it there but, before 2006 I didn’t have an interest in betting. It was only after attending a bookies for a ‘Christmas bet’ with a girlfriends family did I look further. Shortly after I found exchange trading, from there I was hooked.
Did you see success with trading right away? If not, how long did it take you before you became confident that trading could be a major part of your income?
Not at all, I’d be suspicious of anyone that said they have to be honest. However, there’s certainly a lot more help and advice out there now. Some good, but mostly bad.
I can’t say specifically as my record keeping wasn’t awesome at first but from around 6 months into my journey I was starting to make significant progress. Most of the downfalls were linked to self-control and discipline.
What has helped you become the successful trader you are today in terms of resources, individuals, training etc?
I’ve never attended any courses, just reading around online but mainly through trial and error. The Betfair apps directory has a bit more to browse than it used to but most of the help I had in the early days was via the Geeks Toy software forum.
You tend to find most of the people with useful things to say stop posting because of all the negativity and trolling that goes on inside the niche. Sad really although I get it, the majority lose and don’t make it so they’re bound to be upset.
I imagine you have tried and tested quite a few different trading software over the years. For the ones which are still available, which do you use and why?
I have, in fact I’ve done most of them. I always found my way back to Geeks Toy though just because it’s so customizable. It’s one of the cheapest too so it’s a win-win for new traders.
There are others of use but most of them just add extra features you don’t need to justify a high price tag.
Which sports do you focus on the most? Are these the most profitable or the easiest to profit from?
Horse racing, and a little tennis. I prefer the former though just because way in which markets function. There’s so much more subjectivity, sentiment and indecision. For a trader this is perfect, it’s far harder to model effectively.
Can you give an estimate of how many trades you make per day and what your average stake size is?
Jeez I haven’t been asked that before. I don’t know is the true answer, at one point I did make an effort to filter and look at my own trading data. When I was doing that I think a Saturday afternoon I’d turn over a few million quid easy. Readers should know that’s just via lots of £200 and £500 matches though.
Favourable stake sizes are around £200. Not every race can take larger than that with multiple clicks (of the mouse).
How much profit do you make per month and has this amount increased over the years? (feel free not to answer if you wish!)
Haha! I’d love to say, but unfortunately this presents a couple of problems for me.
Aside from it being a bit personal, ex-partners have an extra interest in this area so I took the decision a while ago to not mention it anymore. Plus, the second issue being certain exchange providers looking for anyone that tries to reduce their additional charges. I’ve heard horror stories of others getting their account emptied because of charges they ‘owe’.
I will say however; Betfair featured myself and a couple of others a while back to advertise the exchange. To do that they wouldn’t entertain anyone that made less than £100,000.
Are there any mistakes you have made over the years which others can learn from?
How long have you got?! I’ve done them all.
The routine issue that trips up new traders time and again is going in-play, when they didn’t have a plan. I was certainly guilty of that early on. Expressing a lack of discipline in that area will cost you your entire balance in a short space of time. Top take-away is to just not do it at all, no matter how big the current loss is.
For those who are considering getting into trading, are there any resources or software you’d recommend?
Certainty, there’s the obvious and quite shameless plug – caanberry.com/blog. Over the years I’ve shared hundreds of posts documenting some of my own experiences and advice on route.
Software wise I’d always recommend the 14 day free trial with Geeks Toy, and maybe have a look at Gruss Betting Assistant too. The second one is good for automation if that’s your thing.
What general advice would you give to someone who is a trading newbie?
Resist the urge to dive in with both feet and start betting aimlessly. Take some time to understand the market dynamics, motivation behind movements and realise what suits you the most. Then focus on it intensely and ignore everyone else, there will be many that try to steer you away from the goal.
Impatient people often struggle to swing trade too, so being self-aware is also a massive bonus.
Is sports trading something that you’d recommend in 2019? How has the industry changed since you started trading? Are there more/less/a similar number of profitable opportunities?
For sure, if you’re passionate about something you should always follow it!
The industry as a whole has certainly changed. It’s a little disheartening to see Betfair don't push their exchange product quite like they used to. Exchange growth obviously means growth for anyone that’s trading it profitably. However, there are still a huge range of opportunities to exploit on a daily basis.
You have a website at www.caanberry.com. What should readers expect when visiting?
The blog has most topics covered, it’s what made it the most popular within the Betfair Trading niche. Readers should check out the search function on the sidebar if their interested in something specific!
It’s not just a blog though, there’s a range of training products and help available too.
Finally, you offer a few of your own products. A Pre Race Trading Guide, Tennis Trading Guide and a comprehensive Video Pack Course. Could you tell us a little bit about them?
Certainly, the whole thing started as an accident to be honest. I was blogging about my experiences and fancied a way to mitigate the Premium Charges I incur. When readers suggested it I put together the first edition of the pre-race trading guide.
From there it’s slowly developed and now even has a user community. The video course has been the most valuable for all for a few reasons. It’s far easier to watch and follow along, the message is so much clearer. There’s a lot of different modules covering all the crucial areas so it services users needs quite well, plus it’s way cheaper than attending a day course where there’s nothing to take away after!
Caan Berry Products