The other day I placed a bet on Betfair via the normal web site interface. Now I usually use Betangel Pro for this but as it was such a busy day and I was using a few Betfair accounts, one for backing and another for laying (which is the way you should be betting, as you should NOT mix Win & Lay bets in the same account), and another for trading, I didn’t notice Betfair was starting to have issues.
I placed my lay bet, and it didn’t enter so I hit submit again and it showed up as placed. I then went to use Betangel which uses the Betfair API and was working with no problem. Once the race was off I switched back to the normal interface site only to notice the lay losses were showing double what they should have been. Realising my first bet had gone through but wasn’t showing at that time I just had to trade out in-running. Oh dear! It wouldn’t let me. So I refreshed, and the page only half loaded. Thinking it something to do with IE9 I loaded Betfair up on Opera and again got only half a page!
I now knew this was a Betfair problem so switched to Betangel which was still working and changed to the in-running market, only for the Betfair API to fail. I then had to switch to my pre-loaded Betdaq window to trade out only to see the odds of my double lay at 1.12, and by the time I got the bet on it was down to 1.05 and then went on to win.
Sod’s Law is great when it comes to betting as it seldom seems to go in your favour when you realise you have made a mistake with a bet or you get an issue with the site you are using, and no matter how long you have been betting you will still make mistakes.
This issue cost me around £400, and I have everything in place to minimise such things, however usually with a Betfair problem the site stops and so does the API, so I usually notice any issues a lot quicker so if I do have open bets or mistakes I can trade out on Betdaq at a decent price, although you will always lose something in the trade due to lower liquidity on Betdaq.
I read a lot about other people, especially traders who end up with open bets on Betfair when it goes down, and as usual, they go on to lose money.
This is due to not having systems in place to protect yourself during any Betfair downtime, and although I lost money during this episode, it has saved me a hell of a lot more.
* ALWAYS have Betdaq open in a browser window, or Betangel’s Betdaq version. With enough in it to cover any bets you may need to get out of.
* ALWAYS have at least one bookmaker open so you can still get out pre-race if both Betfair and Betdaq have problems, although this is not likely.
Their is no reason not to have a Betfair and Betdaq account to ensure you have a working betting exchange at all times, and if you are a trader and you don’t and lose money because of it, you have been warned.