The Caan Berry Q & A

Posted on June 4, 2019 by  

We were recently lucky enough to grab a quick chat with Pro Trader Caan Berry.

He is widely considered one of the best horse racing traders around and his latest book Betfair Trading Made Simple is a number one best seller. Caan has been trading on the Exchanges for over 10 years so we hit him up with some quick fire questions to get an insight into the world of Sports Trading through his eyes.

Here we go 11 questions with Caan Berry. Welcome.

CB: Hey, thanks for having us! It’s appreciated.

How much profit can you make?

CB: Straight in with the serious questions eh?

This is the first question on most people’s lips. The true answer – I don’t know! I’m not ‘the biggest’ earner on Betfair. However, I can tell you it’s really quite possible to make six figures a year. I’ve no doubt there are multiple people making seven figures a year too.

Hopefully that’s enough for anyone that’s considering it, but in all honesty, focusing on the money alone is a bad idea. Making maximum returns is usually done when you focus on the process, how the markets work and where there’s an edge or margin.

What is a reasonable return?

CB: I guess I just answered that a bit already, but there must be heaps of people making a full-time living from this. When I say that, I’m talking £30,000-£40,000 a year… those numbers are far from impossible.

When you factor in the lifestyle, freedom on a daily basis and a few other perks like watching sport – it’s not bad at all. In the interest of balance, it’s important to say most don’t manage that though…

What was your biggest win/loss?

CB: Crikey! I’ve been on Betfair’s exchange for a decade now… I must have stopped counting at least 6 years ago.

My most memorable loss is documented on YouTube, just because of the way I reacted but I don’t know how much it was. Over £1,000 I’m sure. Biggest win; again I don’t really recall. I do remember a high stakes punter moving the entire market though which gifted me about £600 in ten seconds.

Successful trading hasn’t got a lot to do with big wins or losses though – typically I’m quite risk averse. I’d much rather rack up £5-£30 profits over and over.

When did you know you had a profitable strategy?

CB: The numbers don’t lie!

Once I reached that stage where I was winning very consistently it was obvious. Like a light switch everything just flicked. For months afterwards I was still second-guessing myself. I think that cautious approach to winning really helped me cement my success though.

So many people start to succeed, then crank up the stakes or think they’ve ‘nailed it’ only to be brought crashing back down to earth a week later. Slowly-slowly catchy money is how I prefer it!

Why did you start trading? What got you into it?

CB: Not something I documented heavily but I know there were a few things around a similar time…

Seeing ‘blag a million’ on TV about trading. Finding Geeks Toy software forum, and my girlfriends grandfather prompting me to have a punt on boxing day. Shortly after I thought I’d give it a go. It didn’t take long to see that exchange betting was very different to that of a bookmaker – it grabbed my interest.

What do you think you would be doing if you didn’t pursue trading?

CB: Absolutely no idea.

I haven’t got a formal education, flunked school and winged it through the army. I don’t know that I would have just settled for an ordinary job but I doubt I’d have reached the places as a result of trading!

Maybe something to do with psychology and analytics. By the way – those two interests have certainly helped me succeed in the markets.

What was your background like?

CB: Very standard, working class background. Never had much which I have no doubt has spurred me on at times. Grew up in a small seaside town, complete dead end if I’m honest.

At an early age I dabbled in the wrong circles and interests that probably didn’t help my education. I don’t really regret it though, we’re all a product of our environment to some degree or another right?

In terms of things you might expect a trader to have an interest in, I did – maths, logic, analysis etc… no fan dangled A levels or Degree here though!

What did you spend money on when you suddenly had it?

CB: Haha! Brilliant.

All the wrong things… Can we move on now?

Seriously though – I had a LOT of fun. Holidays, partying, lots of alcohol and other activities. High maintenance women, couple of silly cars. Kinda regret most of it if I’m honest, earning money is one thing but you quickly learn later that keeping hold of it to one degree or another is equally as important. Still, it’s made me who I am now.

Which sports do you focus on and why?

CB: Horse Racing, no question. A little Tennis too.

The racing is fascinating from many angles and holds a lot of opportunity for a few reasons:

There’s thousands of races a year
Price is more subjective than other sports
Betting volumes are high
Lots of emotion in the market prices

When you start to understand there is emotion and people behind the numbers, you soon realise that there are many areas to exploit. In football and even tennis that can be a lot harder – with only a few outcomes it’s far easier for the star trek fans to model and automate it.

How did you get Betfair to promote you?

CB: I didn’t! They contacted me… several years back now. They got in touch as they were running a promotion where they wanted to push some of the software products and showcase real winners on the exchange.

They had a strict criteria in terms of earnings and eligibility but it was a cool experience. I find it a bit of a shame that Betfair has swayed toward the Sportsbook in recent years. After all the exchange is what made them famous!

The pro traders event was just a sponsorship deal when I teamed up with a couple of other exchange pro’s – Mark Iverson (@markyiverson) and Steve Howe (@itsamugsgame)

Do you really need trading software? Preference?

CB: It’s a no-brainer. If you’re competing in the markets against thousands of other people, myself included then speed is a big deal.

You wouldn’t turn up for a marathon without any shoes now would you?

I use Geeks Toy myself, although Gruss would be a second-best suggestion to me. I know Steve uses that. Both are pretty cheap with the premium versions coming in around £6 a month.

Thanks for your time Caan, that was great. All the best pal.

CB: A pleasure.

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If you want to see more from Caan then be sure to check out his site here: https://caanberry.com

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