The Gamboni appears in an anecdote in Victor Sperandeo's seminal "Trader Vic: Methods of a Wall St Master"
It features a poker player, Joe, who is extremely good at poker and has to move from city to city in order to play anonymously for high stakes. Eventually he ends up playing a few slack jawed yokels in a barn in the middle of nowhere. He thinks he's already won, given the unsophisticated nature of the competition. Soon, he gains a full house, the others fold and the game is down to two people. He calls and the other fella has a dreadful hand, just three clubs and two diamonds. So Joe thinks he has won and tries to grab the pot, but is told to look behind him where, tacked to the wall, is a notice that says "Three clubs and two diamonds constitute a Gamboni, the top winning hand in this establishment". So he loses that round, but continues to play. Rules are rules after all. Eventually he ends up with his own Gamboni and bets everything on it. Unfortunately when he calls, he is pointed to another notice that says "Only one Gamboni will be permitted per night in this establishment", meaning poor old Joe loses the lot.
A long winded shaggy dog story that says, quite simply, the secret of the Gamboni is if you want to win in the financial markets you've got to know the rules; and also you can't win without being at the table. A bit of a let down as a story climax perhaps, but still very true.
This may apply to trading programs because they don't take account of the fact that some "rules" in the market are in a state of continual change and must always be watched for variation.
No worries Juan - Despite its faults I love that book and am always happy to reacquaint myself with its peculiar charms.
Perhaps there are a body of market (or poker) rules that remain essentially eternal and always worth observing, while at the same time these fixed, 'major' rules are continuously distorted by a set of capricious 'minor' rules that fluctuate depending on who is playing the game, where it played and when.
Joe stuck to the rules of poker that he knew intimately and expected to hold true in this game and would have won if his forgivable supposition were true. Trouble is the yokels chucked in a couple of new ones on top.
Yet if Joe had bothered to look around the barn before playing, the new rules were there on the wall clear to see. However his engrained preconceptions about poker prevented him from doing this.
To remain disciplined and observant of the rules is an extremely hard task for man and an extremely easy one for trading program. But perhaps a man can choose to look over his shoulder occasionally as well as rigidly following those 'old rules' and this may make all the difference between success and failure. Therein lies our somewhat accursed edge.
Yes it's a down day, but hardly a collapse.
I said earlier that a rise of 126000 jobs instead of 65000 (unexpected by all except UBS Warburg apparently) appears to be good news in a jobs market of millions!
Get real. This is not bull news, this is wishful thinking.
Where is the surprise?
There is a natural (unfortunate) bias towards bull markets/sentiment and I see it here in the posts on this board all of the time.
Clear your mind and see the market, not the noise.