Back in action after MTL (BSH, Rhino and Current status of trades)

I am now back at my desk after an eventful 13 days in Montreal. The trip did not work out as planned. Ash and our toddler got super sick and I had to deal with the market for the first 4 business days of the trip. EDF was on me like white on rice and forced me to capitulate a large portion of my account at a pretty crappy time. I went from 290 or so units to 77 units and from the 77 I had to get down to 40. So almost a 85% reduction in risk. Insane. That cost profit and added a very unneeded layer of stress. EDF is a small portion of my overall account which is good. My main IB account is actually profitable through the event as of today but it did have some draw down during some of those crazy days. Wildly, I have the most theta combined that I’ve ever had. If we end up anywhere in the 2550-2850 range within 30 days I gain something like 400k which would end the year reasonably especially after EDF and the Feb event. Overall, I’m like break-even from Oct 3 onwards because of the EDF issues but have loads of premium. Just have to get through these mid-terms unscathed.

Rhino pricing has been insanely good around $1 to $1.30 area (means very low upside risks and much easier to manage). So I’ve been putting those on quite a bit. I also formed a few BSh factories today as pricing on the longs finally fell enough. I’ll probably be doing a lot of BSH factory (two versions) and Rhino type trades while the pricing is good.

    Poker

I busted my last tournament in a gross way which almost had me want to retire. I had 66 on 6T2 flop. Got a guy with Aces all in. Ace hit on the river.. (2 outs) and I busted…horrific. Getting sick of these 5%’ers hitting on me when it counts.

There’s another really nice tournament in my backyard (Bahamas) Party Poker Millions Caribbean. It’s only a 1 hour flight and I get free biz class upgrades, so I can fly in style. I was kinda considering hopping over on Friday night until Monday but I dunno if I will. Disillusioned a bit 🙂

High VIX – All loaded up

I pretty much reached the end of my risk tolerance in adding new trades. I have loads of HS3 and STTs on and I have all the shorts I’m allowed to have re the factory. Not much I can do now but wait for things to form on the factory side. All my HS3 and STT are POS UEL so I doubt I have much adjustments to even consider there. Should be a relatively easy few weeks re time spent on trading. A waiting game.

My Mar STT are all drawn down as expected re VIX being at 18 and skew changes. I have 282 total BWBs on total over course of 4 weeks (average of 65 a week) which represents a planned capital 1.25MM. My Jan/Dec are fairly neutral as I did tons of roll ups, but still have loads of theta in them. They are slightly drawn down from the highs as all the T+0s are falling re volatility.

The shorts I sold last week (Dec expiration) are increasing w vol but also time is a magnet. So it’s fighting that. A week or two more and should be able to form those. A crash now would kinda suck though 🙂 I am actively looking into a rule where I’d take off. I got a great price on the Jan expiration that I put on end of week. All in all, will be a really nice start if we bounce at all.

My x4 are hurting a bit. Will probably roll them out tomorrow.

My Rhino is break-even. Needs a roll too. Looking at that now.

    Poker and life

Getting ready for end of October and the study required, I am doing a 14 day no alcohol thing so I can focus, get as geared up as possible and get this studying done. Doing a bit of a health blitz which involves no alcohol, doing a regular niacin flush, slamming some vitamins, no carbs, and working out every single day in some form (I am doing a cross fit type class..I don’t like cross fit or the culture but I am too lazy to figure out an alternative as I go w/ my wife). I’ll be playing tennis and then jogging as well. Every day has to include one of these activities. I am also going to start up the mindfulness activities (meditation via primed mind) and just get to the best spot I can both physically and mentally. I want to make the best run I can at this thing over the course of Oct/Nov and getting ready for the PSPC in January.

If I can make a dent this year in tournament success, that’d be cool. I’d like to break-even with expenses in 2019 but keep having shots at 1MM+ payouts and that elusive final table.

I can’t get over the hand in the 2017 Bahamas main event. There’s 56 left out of 800 or so and my stack is above average. Good for probably top 30 and a reasonable shot at the final table. I get dealt AA. I raise, get three bet, I four bet (against the only other stack larger than mine at the table) and he shoves all in. I call with the best hand. His hand is AK. I am 94% favorite here. This is a massive double up opportunity that all but puts me at the final table. The blinds were 3/6k and I’d have had 720k stack (omg).

Since it’s an all in situation. They pause everything and call over the poker press, cameras etc..(i never found the video..odd). I stand there for 5 min with all sorts of pros behind me telling me omg you’re 94% favorite here. I’m all but counting the chips. So it’s really hard to explain but this is like after 4 12 hour days where you’re concentrating and so emotionally invested…when I see the flop KKT. I am absolutely decimated. One of the worst feelings I’ve ever felt and I know that sounds weird. But it was. I didn’t even collect my cash, I just wandered aimlessly around the Atlantis in a total weird ass state of mind. That was my shot. I hope I get another. Horrible luck for that point in the tournament and for the chips and position I would have been in.

Oct 1 – BSH Factory, CC (BWB-STT) campaign and poker

On Wednesday I just finished up a mastermind presentation in the PMTT group that talked about how to deal with your trade portfolio in a crash, the BSH factory campaign and how to harvest the STT-BWB. It went well, lasted about 1.5 hours and had 155 slides. It’s hard to talk about all this stuff on the blog as the info is protected in the group. It’s kinda what probably makes this blog stagnate at times. I have to get creative while not divulging our IP. If it was up to me, I’d share a lot more but it’s unfair to the group.

I did have some back of mind reservations presenting this campaign as I thought it was the “nuts” and I worried about having tons of people selling the same strikes on the same opportunistic days, but I dunno, I don’t ever want to be that guy, I don’t need to resort to that in life and my integrity is worth more than whatever perceived value there is. My belief is the group works because we all generally share our good ideas and in return we get tons of smart “eyes” looking at it and making it better. It works and this is what makes it tick and I’m going to continue on this path. Besides, the value back has been incredible and I am glad that we’re all exploring furthering the campaign in both its theory and its practical implementation. Returns in spades.

On Friday, I had 12 units of Rhino waiting to fill and it did right at the end of day at a good price @ 2.75 for the Dec 1710/1670/1620 BWB. Nice. I just closed off my other 10 units that I put on in July for 21k in profit. I still dabble in the ATM trades for diversification. Though, I hate taking this shit off sometimes. I had a host of Call calendars, Call BWBs and put BWBs and taking one part off leaves the other side exposed and sometimes fills just suck. It took me 2 hours to close it and I was cursing the entire time.

On the opposite spectrum, the STT CC campaign is much easier to manage and I usually just convert the structure to a hedge structure late in the trade. Saves commissions and adds some insurance. The STT CC is my bulk trade right now coupled with the BSH factory which will be for both income and hedging. Pretty much all I do now is some Rhinos (super low % of account), CC campaign, BSH factory and opportunistic HS3. I also dabble in some mechanical equity investing but its just for utilizing some of my balance (for further info check out the motley fool mechanical investing forum (search TMF mechanical investing) or check out imarketsignals.com. It’s cool stuff. The community in mechanical investing have been doing it for 20+ years.

Poker

I’ve been studying every day ramping up for the Oct WPT in Montreal. This is going to be practice run at the PSPC in January. I have about 40 hours of study left I suppose just to get me on par level in knowledge with the average competition. Not an easy game as I’ve been at this since 1999 ;). When I was in my twenties, I mean, I felt like my generation was easy competition, I’d put in reasonable efforts and excel in whatever it may have been..ie. Poker at the time was jokes, first person shooters on PC was jokes or whatever. Now, I put in probably 800 hours into PubG and still suck, back in the day my wife and I played Rainbow 6 lockdown/vegas and were top 100. Now, I doubt I break top 100k 🙂 I don’t know, it feels like everything is taken next level (or ten) by this new generation. The kids in poker now have just perfected everything. They literally eat, breathe, shit poker. It’s all they do and they do it right. They’ve broken down the game to levels that are so far beyond. If they put that effort into anything else (trading, business start ups etc) they’d probably have easier success though. I’d gather that to be earning reasonable money in tournament poker would take the same effort it takes to be be a professional trader but with less variance.

All that said, After Oct, I might hire the best tournament coach in the world to get me prepped. The prob is he’s like 375 EUR an hour 🙂 Steep, but thats what you get for the best. I might start with a more reasonable one and get ramped up towards him. BencB is the coachs name. Epic track record.

Sep 4 (Back in action)

Been a while since my last post.

I just finished up a whirlwind summer of travel and I don’t think I’ll be traveling the same type of lengths for quite some time. Three months is too long and too hard with 3 kids. Since I’ve just built an epic house, I just wanted to come back and enjoy it. I’ve seen all of Europe and I think I’m good for now. So probably less travels and more trades for this blog and maybe some poker 🙂

I finished 135th out of 1931 in the European championships which was a good result. Another deep run but no final table in a championship event, which is what I am going for and what my ultimate goal is. I don’t care about winning it. I just want a final table. The experience is so grueling and exhausting. The game is at another level and to compete on this forum requires a lot of work. I literally have to sit there and prevent genius pro’s from taking advantage of me while somehow obtaining my own advantages. Not an easy feat. Each day is around 12-14 hours long with very small breaks. When I am at the table I have to be fully concentrated and that eventually wears its toll. When the day is over, its super hard to get to sleep, all jacked up on adrenaline (which is so bizarre given its a game of cards!) but it is what it is. I love it and I hate it 🙂 The next 3 months I’ll be in the “lab” workng on my game for a really big championship in January. The PSPC. Poker stars has given away 300 25k seats and added 1MM to first place, 9MM added to the prize pool. The word on the street is it’ll be a legendary showing. This means that there will be up to 300 relatively weak players/potentially fish. I usually stick to the 5-10ks but I’ve got some stakers willing to pony up some to remove the spiciness of it. It’ll be a very long skill based tournament. I hear 2 hour levels are in order. Usually I play 40-60 min levels. Time to get cracking. I might hit up the Nov Party Millions in Bahamas as well. There’s also the World series of Europe near Munich Oct 27 but that’s a far ass trip..

As for trading, I’ve been working on a few different systems and I’ll be presenting a version of the BSH factory on the 26th of September to the mastermind group. It’s an income producing totally BSH protected factory. It’s simple, doesn’t involve all the complexities the other trades require (skew issues, complex analysis, unknown market type reactions etc). It’s so pure and back to basics. I can see that becoming the main thing I do. Besides that, I am running the CC campaign and working to get a BSh factory live. I tried to sell some puts today at 2885 but they didn’t go through yet, the markets bounced back up to 2893 so we’ll see if I can get ‘er on before end of day.

Jul 13 – Where have I been?

I started traveling May 30 and have been on the road since.

We started off in Lisbon Portugal and spent 9 days there. It’s a top 3 place for me for sure. It was very hilly which was a bit tough with a newborn in a stroller but we made due. We stayed right near an awesome little park that had a small confectionary like restaurant that served coffees in the AM and beers in the PM. Loved it. Spent a lot of time there. Everything was so cheap, like 1.30 EUR for a beer 🙂

After that we rented a car and drove down to Faro for 5 days. It was OK, too touristy for me, felt like one of those british tourist destinations that you see (Malta Paceville, Ibiza, etc) but we had to go there to catch a bus from Faro to make it to Seville. I just couldn’t get a rental car that would allow us to drop it off in Spain, so we had to bus it. After Seville we made our way down to Marbella by rental car. Marbella was pretty cool, like the Monaco of Spain Lots of expensive cars and wealth. I ended up playing the Marbella Pokerstars tournament. That didn’t go well, I busted K8 on a 6788 board to a 9T. Normally I could get away from the hand but it went down like this:

Everyone folded to me on the button, I raised first in, small blind and big blind both called. IT was checked to me on the flop 678 and I bet 1/3rd pot. Call call. The turn brought the 8 which gave me set with K kicker. It was check/check and I bet 1/4 pot. The BB check raised me and I pushed. The ranges here are pretty big for all of us. So I got attached to the hand and busted. Ah well.

After Marbella, we made our way to Madrid, spent 8 days there. I wasn’t expecting much from Madrid but ended up liking it a lot. The airbnb was decent but the lady was super OCD and really annoying, writing us every few hours with instructions for the most mundane things. 2MM LBGT folks came in for world pride day and I think Madrid is considered the capital for the community. Was interesting and neat to see. After Madrid, we trained down to Barcelona and spent 8 days there, not much of interest happened there.

I am currently in Stockholm now. We rented a house in the outskirts (country) for two weeks to chill out a bit. It’s only 20 min by train to Gamla stan. As always, I am constantly in catch-up mode. Either w/ trading or my business.

Next on the list is Gdansk, Poland and we’ll probably drive down towards Arona, Italy. I am going to play in the Barcelona pokerstars championship event end of Aug and that will conclude my European trip this year!

More posts about trading incoming today

Apr 18 – STT Trade Plan

I am starting to look at exiting my May STT positions though I might try to expire them if they aren’t taking up to much margin. Lotto ticket to the downside. I’ll be spending some time looking at that today.

STT Returns and commentary:

I expect to return about 5% a month on average for the STT trade. That’s 60% a year on the balance portion used for the trade itself, it doesn’t include your balance reserve which I keep at about 35%. That means we’re returning closer to 40-45% on the entire balance non-compounded. However, every month I will increase the unit size to match the 35% net-liquid requirements and that should get the returns closer to 60% compounded and much more over the course of 2-3 years. It’s slower and less sexy than the previous trades I’ve done. Though I mean, over the course of the 14 months I did the Rhino trade, I’ve actually not had the luck to experience those types of returns, but I did get to experience some of the swings 🙂 I mean, balance movements, profits, losses and their recovery were a lot quicker back then. It’s fairly slow these days. I just plan the trades, execute (spending a lot of time on fills) and really don’t care where the market goes. Watching paint dry kinda? Of course, It’s not without excitement, often times I’ll get caught filling one portion of a trade directionally only to have the market move the opposite way and become unable to fill the other portion. Those are always fun to deal with 🙂 Or the ever annoying fill issues. I’d put in a small order at a price, get filled, then put on a larger order only for it to sit there for an hour. Putting on and taking off trades can be a tedious process, sometimes taking a full day.

I am off May 4th to play in a big poker tournament (double the size as the one I played in January) so I am quite excited about that. I’ve been studying/preparing at about 1 hr a day since January. I feel my game is probably 70% of the way to where I want it to be. I’ll post updates when I head off. The SCOOP is also on (Poker stars spring championship) and I’ll be playing several of those events.

That’s all for now…

I pledge to post 15x a month :)

I am making a pledge to myself to post at least 15 times a month :). I keep letting this go but I find it is a cathartic healthy activity that I need to focus on. It has benefits re accountability and maybe it provides some value to the readers. I just had a baby (third) so I’ve just been in this distracted state after 4pm. I love tending to this and I hate that I often let it go.

Re trading: nothing too exciting. I am up to 450 or so units on the STT which is something I guess. It’s been such an adjustment (for the better). I no longer wake up a few times a night to check futures and I don’t need to check the phones often outside my normal adjustment period during the day. My obsession with market technicals has gone down too! Love it. The trade is just so damn docile compared to other trades. It’s literally the perfect trade for my style. It’s gone from reacting in real time to market events to evaluating market events over a longer period of time and creating a plan for adjusting the following day in a much less stressed way.

I’ve still got on one last unit of Rhino (april) that I has very minimal upside risk left. I’ll still put some of these on bit only opportunistically.

I am trying to mechanicize the management of the STT and BSH re having a large account and this is what I am working on currently. This has everything to do with the financing the BsH. A new idea emerged that I quite like.

We are doing a 3 month Europe trip again come May 28th with a newborn and a 5 and 7 year old. Should be fun! We will get an au pair to help us out (university student that wants a free summer trip). Probably do Poland, Germany, Slovenia and Italy again.

I’ve got two more poker tournaments coming up. I’ve been studying and practicing quite a bit. I want that main event final table. That’s the goal. I will get it soon come.

Tomorrow I will post the screen caps of my current trades.

155 Unit STT

Been a while again…regretfully

I was traveling over the holidays. Ended up buying a piece of land for a cottage and a new Model X Tesla P100D. Then to top it off, I then flew to Bahamas to compete in a few poker tournaments including the Stars main event championship.

Poker went pretty awesome. I got a 1st place finish and a 62nd in the main event only to be busted out when I had AA vs Ryan Riess’s AK. I was a 93% favorite after I 4bet shoved but he caught 2 kings on the flop and I was eliminated. Bad beat. But I walked away with about 15k for my efforts.

I can tell you despite the good results, it didn’t feel that great. My chip stack was healthy as was the villain (Ryan Riess). I was a huge favorite and I am confident that with my style of play, I’d have made the final table with that win. As well, when he called my 4bet shove with AK, we had to wait several minutes as the photographers, tv crews and some writers came over to analyse the hand. So I was sitting there, super excited, knowing I was a 93% favorite ..basically already counting my chips and smelling the final table only to have KK flop. Brutal.

I might have to add in a section on this blog for poker as I am now back at it and will be playing the circuit. Next stop WPT on Feb 9th in Montreal.

Here were some of the highlights:

In the trading world, I have moved over to doing a good % of my trading portfolio in the STT(Space Trip Trade) and BSH (Black Swan Hedge) trade combo. I got a big one on for May right now—>155 Units!

I am excited about the trade and it should be fun and interesting. I was satisfied with the back-testing and I think the trade will be my main staple trade along with a 30% combination of the ATM trades (Rhinos). I closed off most of the Feb Rhinos and have only some March and April. I’ll enter the Rhino trades opportunistically when pricing is good and use them as a hedge to to the mid 5-10% downside moves.

I’ll get a post up analyzing my current STT trade shortly. I have a few more debit spreads to add and it’ll be complete.