Sunday, 9 October 2016

Summer has gone and Winter is coming...

First and foremost, let me be entirely apologetic about being so useless and not doing a blog where you can laugh at me for about 3 months. So much has happened since I was landing bets on reality TV shows and acting like I’d won the Scoop 6. There are winners to talk about and losers to moan about. Here goes…

I wrote the majority of this blog aboard an overnight ferry to Portsmouth. There was a man snoring and I was only just odds-against to go over to him and tell him my views. My views would probably be “Stop snoring mate, I’m try to write a blog here” and he would reply “Piss off mate, you sad creature”. I could’ve flown and it would take about 20 minutes if the elastic band to propel the plane and the winds were strong enough but instead I’ve chose a 13-hour journey instead. I got free coffee and biscuits so who’s the real winner? Not me. 

My fear of flying largely relates to my fear of dying (obviously!) but slowly over time I start to realise this is silly. Once you’ve backed enough rugby handicap or points bets that gets beaten after time is up, you learn to accept the inevitable. I’m not sure if a plane was going down and I popped up with “this reminds me of the numerous times a New Zealand Super Rugby team has beaten my bet with a try including a knock-on and forward pass and 5 minutes after the 80th minute” would really help my fellow passengers though.

Since the last time I blogged, the Olympics has happened. It was a sublime time for us absolute degenerate scrote punters. There was so much awful stuff to bet on and if you were clever enough, you could find remarkable value. The events I had placed so much emphasis on was the Cycling and the Rugby 7s. In the end the cycling went okay including some excellent very short priced lays of in-running favourites on the horrendous road race course and just backing anything British in the velodrome. 

The Rugby 7s was an entirely different beast. I lost and I lost and I lost. Even when I should’ve won, I lost. Time has passed now and I have mentally blocked some of the pain, but the low moment was when I backed Argentina +4.5 vs Great Britain in the QFs in a single price double with the unders. It was sort of 9/4 and 5/2 about the plus handicap and the unders points landing and the weather was awful. Instead of just perming all the unders, like all my mates did, I got greedy chasing losses from the previous day(s) and permed all the handicap/points doubles. It was going remarkably well but I had some losers in there and I only came out of the evening with a minor profit. I should have chopped it off on an unders accumulator that paid 20/1 but instead left with winnings at about 1/5. As I mentioned, the Great Britain – Argentina match was a particular lowlight. The unders was always going to land but it was 0-0. I just needed an Argentine try or a team to kick a penalty or a drop goal and I was done with. Argentina missed a penalty in the last seconds of the game and the match finished 0-0. Yes, 0-0. This may sound like a winner and I thought so at the time too, but it wasn’t. My bet with Paddy Power included extra-time which is half the reason I got good odds on these outcomes, it turns out. Always read the rules. Not to worry, all I needed was Argentina to score a try to win the game or either side to kick a drop goal/penalty for my bet to win and the dream of a jackpot still alive. Not to be. Britain won a penalty and took the drop goal option. Brilliant I thought. Not to be. When you’re a punter, bad beats that seem impossible become real. The drop goal hit the post and luckily bounced to a British player who ran it in the corner for a try. 5-0 to Great Britain after Extra Time and I was in tatters. Absolute pieces. 

The swimming was another area where I both excelled in finding horrendous disgraceful bets to place and managing to get a bead beat. I had placed a load of horrible selections in a Yankee with Stan James including Katinka Hosszu (the Hungarian with the crazy husband coach). Stan’s rules were hopelessly inefficient for the Olympic Swimming and meant that any swimmer that DNS was counted as a void NR, a luxury that no other bookmaker had been silly enough to offer. I needed all four swimmers to win because it was the end of my new betting account with them either way, win or lose. They even let me perm selections that contained the same swimmer but in different events. Hosszu was the standout swimmer in her division, over the various distances and I had her in twice. She won her first event and was huge favourite for her final event. She traded 1.1 and shorter for sure but got done on the line. I actually slept through the gubbing but woke up to numerous Whatsapps and Twitter DMs informing me of the disgraceful bad beat we had all just been involved in. I ended up taking out about an 8/1 winner from singles, doubles and a speculative Yankee but it could’ve been a 50/1 and I was huge odds-on to land a touch. It wasn’t to be. Isn’t that always the case?

There were some other great results from the Olympics but the one that stood out was Van Niekerk to win the 400m. Betting Emporium had put up him as value at the odds-against quoted and I had word from someone else that he should be 1/10. Another person I respect on their athletics compiling also had him super skinny compared to their competitors and all the stars aligned for me to have a fairly sizable bet on him. He qualified rather easily, albeit not great against the clock which game him a poor lane draw. He drifted and he drifted. I topped up at 6/4 but unfortunately at this point I had been burning the candle at both ends for far too long and desperately needed an early night to catch up on sleep. When I awoke the next morning not only did I see that he had won with a World Record, but also that he had drifted out to 15/8 and 2/1 sort of prices. I would’ve gone in again but my sleep won out. It was still a brilliant result and kept me going with some much needed cash. 

The Olympics also provided me with one of the best bets I have ever placed, without even knowing it. Some colleagues of mine had been talking up the betting on the Olympics Water Polo and I finally succumbed and watched a match. The match in question was Brazil women vs USA women and the hosts were massive underdogs and massively terrible. I had a bet on the unders on the basis that USA were hosing up and would ease off. The unders was actually never in danger, despite the Americans indeed hosing up. The true value and the funniest times were in the 4th Quarter when USA took their keeper off. Now bear in mind the USA keeper was unbelievable. I initially had a bet on Brazil to score a goal in the 4th quarter at 9/4. It landed fairly quickly and I was 100% on Water Polo. What a time to be alive. I also realised that the substitute keeper was far below the standard of her team-mate and the USA didn’t care because they were about 13-0 up at this time. I had a bet on Brazil to win the 4th Quarter at 4/1, even though they were already 1-0 up. I also had a bet on them to score over 1.5 goals at 3/1. Brazil did indeed score again and they won the 4th Quarter 3-0 if I recall correctly. It really was shirt off and pants down time. I had won in total about £250 off women’s Water Polo and there was nobody in the World who couldn’t tell me it wasn’t the shrewdest set of bets I had ever placed. I’m already looking forward to Japan in 2020 to take advantage of similar women’s Water Polo ricks.

Once the Olympics were over, it was time to return to more important matters, such as losing all my credibility, hair and money on rugby league betting. I had agreed and booked to go to London to see the Challenge Cup with my best friends from university. I had accidentally managed to have £30 on Hull FC to win the Challenge Cup at 28/1 when the first prices came out the previous year and they had somehow made it through to the final. A quick note, I backed Catalans at similarly huge prices and I only I could be cursed to hit the wrong sort of “winner” because they drew each other in the quarter final. Hull FC were the first ball out of the bag and Catalans were the second.  Absolutely cursed. But yes, Hull had reached the final and I had something to support – sort of! I was fully aware that if Hull were to win, it would merely help pay for some of the weekend as I knew it was going to be full of sweat and regret. Hull won a game which Warrington should’ve won on the bridle and I had some money to spend.

Oh and then the betting Gods or some sort of God decided to get involved and return me back to my rightful place. I left my phone in the back of a London cab. What an absolute disaster. It wasn’t an expensive phone but the inevitable telling off from the other half about how useless I am brought me back to Earth good and proper. I am genuinely useless though. I have lost countless debit and credit cards. Countless amounts of phones. I’m only ever Evens at best to make it through the next 6 months without losing my phone or wallet. 

After living like kings in London, or as much as we thought we were living like kings, by forgetting the existence of the tube and getting cabs everywhere. Uber? For peasants that. Pay £75 for a cab instead. Same journey on the tube costs pennies you say? For peasants that. How awful. What remarkably ridiculous human beings we were acting. We went to the casino, despite us insisting that under no circumstances were we going to the casino. We arrived at the casino in a rickshaw. The poor lad who carried about 50 stone of pissed up Yorkshire lads up a relatively big hill in Central London may not have made it through the night. But we gave him a decent tip. It was probably a fiver or a tenner. We thought it was huge, but we’re from Yorkshire. Tipping is just not a thing there. Ever. He got about £20 out of us for 5 mins work but probably needs physiotherapy for the next 6 months. I hope he is okay.

September overall was an excellent month. One of my best months in a long time and I took great pleasure in aftertiming some horse racing wins to my friends. I rarely aftertime and when I do, I do it in the privacy of Twitter DMs where the impact is bigger. They can’t pretend they haven’t seen it and I don’t get the Aftertime Ansell treatment on the timeline. I’m fully aware you don’t come here to read about the winners though. I like it that you can laugh at me about the losers. One such was loser was laying Man United at 8/11 at home to Leicester. What an awful bet to lay. But I did. I got ridiculous #bantz for it. Deserved of course. I always loved what Harry Findlay said and it’s to be a good loser and a horrible winner. I always try to do that. If I win it’s all “I’m the shrewdest” and if I lose its “I’m a degenerate and I appreciate your abuse”. It’s the right way to do it. Actually, I do lose quite badly on occossions but only when some jumped-up rugby union ref cannot officiate a game properly and costs me money. This is the only circumstance it is okay. I think. 

I followed up with a winner of the Arc. I had been put onto La Cressionaire by an excellent colleague of mine and I had suitably loaded up. When she came out I got stuck into Found and managed to snag myself a winner of the Arc. A winner of the Arc indeed. This is another case of me sleeping through a winning bet. I had stayed up late to watch the Argentina – New Zealand Rugby Championship match in Buenos Aires and then had only a few hours sleep before I was up to get involved in the NRL Finals where I did my pieces backing Melbourne pre-match and in-play. They had a chance to win it and I had got involved in them at huge prices at the very end of the match. 100/1 and 33/1 for tenners seems crazy now but that’s what I managed and they could’ve won. Maybe should’ve. It wasn’t to be.

Anyway, this has been a momentous blog and I hope it has helped me redeem some self-respect from when I said I would do this weekly. I should’ve mentioned that the reason for that 13hr ferry journey was because I came back to England to watch the Super League Grand Final and I was suitably loaded up on Warrington to beat Wigan. Warrington should’ve indeed won comfortably but couldn’t put points on the board. I lost my voice after 5 minute by relentlessly shouting “Ger’em onside” every single tackle. Not sure the crowd were too pleased with that. Later on in the night we were in the middle of an argument where both sides were threatening to kill each other and we were just stood there enjoying the drama. That was until the two groups were going their separate ways and a girl threw some beer that landed on me. I lost a fortune and had beer thrown on me. Oh and no voice too. This wasn’t how I imagined it would’ve gone. I was supposed to be swimming in Warrington winnings and instead I was at Old Trafford (an awful place) and just wanting to go home and nurse my wounded dignity. The Summer was excellent but I fear Warrington losing was the onset of a horrible, cold and loser-ridden Winter for me.

2500+ words. Phew. Well done if you made it through all of it. Thanks for reading and pray for me over the Winter, I might need them prayers. Oh and blankets. Lots of blankets.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Love is in the air

Another week gone. Another week closer to the end of the summer. We best all get saving for Christmas and that trip to Vegas for New Year's Eve.

Since my last blog loads seems to have happened. I've been on the streets celebrating Portugal's Euro 2016 win with a load of Portuguese lads and I put my private parts on the line by betting on Reality TV. It has been eventful. Oh and Chris Froome saved me. Again.

It had been an extra-ordinarily quiet week before Saturday. I felt like I couldn't back a winner if I backed both sides of a coin toss. Discipline is so hard to keep in these periods. I'd had a great period. Actually I've had a great year overall and I had to regress back to the mean. I guess those losers were just part of it, but every punter will tell you how challenging it is to keep your discipline when things just aren't clicking. When you think a horse is value at 25/1 and it gets beaten in a photo-finish. That sort of thing.

My Grandad loves his poker and has always managed to keep his discipline. He goes to a set of casinos probably two or three times a week to play poker tournaments and has never once had a bet on one of the tables or on the slots. In 15 years, not a single bet. I find that remarkable but he knows the maths and he doesn't budge. He's too Yorkshire for that. Too stubborn and actually too shrewd. He wins more than he loses and never chases. Best of all, he always makes sure to treat my Grandma when he wins and he does right. The phrase "You judge a winner by how he loses" is always prominent with his discipline. I have no idea where that phrase is from. Probably a film or something. But it's true. Everyone can win and do it right, but the real test is when you find trouble. How do you handle it? The best handle it and the worst don't. I knew I had to keep my discipline. Hopefully things would change.

I had stemmed the hemorrhaging of loses by placing a successful bet on Portugal to beat Wales in 90 mins and it paid off quite a few mug punts I'd been having on all sorts of rubbish to try get myself going again. I made Portugal Evens to beat them in 90mins and I got 5/4. It's nice when you get it right. But then I had a mate saying "Ahh but you tipped up a favourite, I'm not impressed". I gave him the talk about how if you always bet favourites you'll lose and the shrewdest characters know a wrong priced favourite more than they get wrong. Rubbish. I left feeling like a mug punter who just backed favourites.

As in my last blog, which was more of a France love-in than a blog, I had no serious antepost views for the Tour de France but had managed to get away some bets on bigger priced riders in the King of the Mountains across accounts and across different firms to make it a worthwhile winner. They're doing rubbish. No chance of any winners.

I had been betting on the stages and had been finding people in the breakaway but just not getting it right. I had left Steve Cummings unbacked in one of his now famous breakaway solo victories. I felt bad about that because I love Steve Cummings. Almost more than I love Chris Froome. Let me tell you a story you've probably heard or read about before.

Last year, it was the eve of Nelson Mandela Day and MTN Qhubeka as they were known back then (now Dimension Data) were the first African team in the Tour de France. They had promised something special for Nelson Mandela Day and I knew they would try get people in the breakaway as a result. It was a good stage for a breakaway so I loaded up on their riders and one of them was Steve Cummings at 200/1. I often forget his price now and how little I had on him. It's turned into a bit of a fisherman's story of me having £50 or something crazy and chopping it off. This didn't happen but I did manage to get a massive max bet of £3.50 each way on Cummings at that said price and he made the breakaway along with 20 other riders or so. A long story short, I had tweeted about it the night before and I had tweeted about it again during the day, so I couldn't be accused of after-timing and suitably began getting a tiny bit excited about the chance of him finishing third and me getting a couple of hundred quid back in the betting bank. He only went and won. I sometimes watch back the end of that stage and I love it.

It's not the amount that was won that day, even though it was lovely to pick up money from some such a small bet. It was backing a 200/1 winner. I'm sure most have backed a decent priced winner and hold them in their hearts very fondly. They're a great story and especially when you have a reason why you backed it. He was my cover photo for ages. I won just less than a grand but I will remember that bet forever. It was brilliant.

Now I must stop harking back to that day, but it does relate to this week. Friday's stage at the Tour was perfect for a breakaway and everybody knew it. Cummings was horribly short. He went off at 200/1 last year for these sort of stages but goes off more like 25/1 these days. I'm not sure he's value, I certainly didn't think he was and I didn't back him for the stage. He won it of course. People who know me and see Cummings always ask "Did you back him again?". I had to tell them I didn't. They think I'm an idiot. Maybe I should use Cummings as my lottery number. Back him every time even though the maths says not to. I woke up on Saturday feeling gutted there would be other lads with Cummings so fondly thought of in their mind and I wasn't a part of it. I needed to find a winner to ease the pain and there's only one other cyclist I hold more fondly in my heart for betting. It's Chris Froome.

I compiled my own tissue for Saturday's stage which was the first proper stage for the General Classification crew and I had Froome at between 9/4 and 3/1. Anywhere around that and I wouldn't bet and anything above it, I would. Value betting, even if my tissue was probably miles out. Books came out and I saw some crazy prices compared to my tissue. I got on at 10/1 and you may think my 3/1 was criminal. It probably was. But everything in front of me suggested he should be favourite and he wasn't. The only problem was the descent after the final climb. Froome has a tag of a bad descender but the descent wasn't so bad and I had seen him for a good few years now on technical descents and he hasn't troubled me in viewing him as a good descender. I expected him to attack before the end of the final climb and nothing came. There was nobody in front of him and I expected a good descender to take it up and go for it. Who goes for it? Only bloody Froome. He went and he went and he went. He got some seconds on them. He kept going. It was classic Team Sky and classic Froome. It looked like it was off the cuff but then afterwards you add up all of it with a total Result Bias and you realise it was planned. I had a winner. I HAD A WINNER. I had managed to get £20 win on him and £20 each way at 10/1. There was bigger available with some firms I can't get bets on with but it's nice to not scrape the top price cos I feel it gives you a better chance of retaining an account you can win from.

As Froome was descending, it's always difficult to trade cycling at these points and the prices are mixed up. Nobody really knows. There was some 5/6 available and I got another £60 on him to get some more rugby funds. Thank God he won. Into the Yellow Jersey for Froome and into the black for me. I love him. He might dope, but I don't care if he does. I'm riding on the crest of the wave with him and when he goes down, I'll go down. It's hard to win fortunes from cycling, but it's nice to win some money to pay for the losers I'd been backing.

If you've read my Twitter of late and in particular on Monday night, you may have already added up 2+2 and equaled 4 in regards to the title of this week's blog. It was the end of Love Island. 40-odd episodes of the best Reality TV show that ever existed. I was addicted. I was in denial to begin with but then I realised I should admit. I absolutely loved that show. Girls and boys of my age living it up for 6 weeks and bonking away. It was fantastic viewing. It was an evening of soft-porn, but you could talk to your in-laws about it. What better way could it have finished off? Having a bet of course.

Pretty much from the first episode I knew who would win the show. The dream was to be able to get a bet on it. If you haven't watched it and therefore still have some dignity, Nathan and Cara won the show. And I knew they would. Everyone did.

Over the last weekend a few firms had been sending out press-releases to newspapers offering out prices. The couple I made 1/5 to win it were being offered out at silly prices like 5/2. But only to the newspapers. Go on their website and there was nothing. That was until I realised Betfair Sportsbook were up. Someone had stole the 5/2 they had put up and they were 4/6. Still a fantastic price. How to get on I wondered. I was hoping they'd let me win around £150 on a shadow account full of my mug bets. I tried to load up with £240 on Nathan and Cara at 4/6 but their max bet was £100 no matter what the selection was. A £100 bet at 4/6 it was and then to get hope they realised they'd laid a bet to a total mug account and didn't change the price so that I could get my mates on for me as well. No good - straight into 1/3. They drifted out the price 8/11 during the live final and I began to worry maybe I had it wrong. Maybe my reality TV betting career was over before I could even pay for a meal out for the love of my life. I was right and they were wrong. Nathan and Cara hosed up and I had myself a massive £66 profit. More importantly I knew I was right. For a punter with a view, this is probably worth more than £66. My CV is now boasting "Reality TV betting supremo".

It has even been an excellent week for the other half. She won her work Bonus Ball twice in a week. She's been paying £4 a week for two numbers for over a year and never won. There's no over-round she's competing with so luckily for her I don't moan too much and I kept telling her she might not win for massive periods at a time and she was having none of it. Twice in a week and she bagged herself £100. She was made up. I've seen none of it. No sharing the wealth. Love really is in the air.

More next week people. I have some Super Rugby gambles lined up and I know you'll be very keen to hear about them. Good luck all.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Vive la France

Did you ever move to a new school and have to make new friends? If so, I feel very sorry for you. This weekend I've experienced what can be best described as a culture shock. The reason? My girlfriend has left me.... For the weekend. She comes back sometime soon but this weekend I have felt lost and without friends. I imagine this is what it's like to change schools.

She left on Friday morning and by Friday evening I had made an entire mess of the flat and was tucking into a takeaway as I was mourning the fact my life had been turned upside down for just 12 hours. Come Sunday morning, I had spent the entire weekend watching rugby, cycling, horse racing and football. What a life. I knew it couldn't last. Too much housework to do before she arrived back home.

Half of the problem was that I had too much time on my hands. I managed to snag this weekend off without booking it as holiday. A very rare pleasure when you work in the betting industry. It hasn't helped my sense of loss and loneliness. By mid-Saturday I wanted to be back in work. I'd probably work every day of the week if I could - anything to get out of the housework afterall.

Like I say, I've struggled so much this weekend but my pride could not be dented. I needed to make it look like I have flourished without her. She needed to walk in and realise how independent I am. How if she left me, I'd do great. Better infact. Operation Do Shitloads Of Housework started. I have done more housework than I have ever done before. I am shattered. I couldn't be a house-husband. Work hard and fall asleep in a pit of my own misery and filth is how I intend to live. As long as she gets my wage-packet at the end of the month everything is good right? Right?

Enough of the housework and self-pity. That was for last week with the Remain losings. I STILL CAN'T BELIEVE REMAIN LOST.

Sorry about that. Never again, I promise.

The best time of the year has arrived and already started to pass. As I mentioned, I dedicated this weekend to watching sport but especially cycling. The Tour de France has holds a special place in my heart. I had a form-tutor at high school who wasn't much into betting but loved his cycling and would part with his cash just this month. I remember in the mid-2000s another of my teachers had told me about his cycling betting and gave me some of his tips. Half of the tips he gave me didn't even make it to the starting line cos they were done for doping. Do they count as value losers? They'd have probably gone well considering how doped they must have been to get caught in an era notoriously tough to get doping.

I properly got into cycling betting in 2013. I had left university and was waiting for the right job. This means two things - I was unemployed and I wanted a job working for a bookmaker. The whole of that July I spent watching Chris Froome win his first Tour de France. It was great. Having no job and nothing better to do was a fabulous time. People say to me.. "How can you watch a cycling stage from start to finish without getting bored?". I tell them I was unemployed one time and watching cycling was the only thing stopping me from becoming mentally unstable from boredom. They were great times.

More than just the Tour de France, I am affirmatively a Francophile. I absolutely love France. Everything about the country. Mainly just the fact they're not English. It's a crying shame we never remained under French rule back in the day. I'm learning French (again!) and actually making a lot of progress. Well, as much progress as someone trying to speak French with a (mellowing) Yorkshire accent can do. It would be a lot easier to have just been born into a French speaking country and not have to learn it all again. That boy Napoleon let us down. At least he left us his casinos.

I told you in my first blog about Chris Froome last year and how a winner felt like a loser. I am balls deep in absolutely nothing this year. The 10/11 about Sagan for the Green Jersey I wanted to smash up? Nothing on. I left it for others to get into it and let him go off at 1/2. Enjoy your winnings lads.

I have two outright bets going. Both were placed when I was under the influence of alcohol and/or glorious optimism. I have a bet on Tom Dumoulin at ridiculously huge prices when he was all so close to winning La Vuelta last year. Oh and Fabio Aru. I placed this after my works Christmas Party. I was very drunk and thought 16/1 was too big. He had won La Vuelta - the perfect warm-up for a Tour de France winning year (apparently!) and Nibali wasn't flavour of the month at all. Aru had to be shorter than Nibali. The Shark (Nibali's nickname for you who live a normal life), wasn't even going to be going to the Tour de France this year after a disastrous 2015 event. How wrong was I. Never bet drunk!! Aru has been terrible since La Vuelta. Nibali is indeed at Le Tour and 16/1 was well... Aru's starting price. I placed a bet 8 months in advance on a minor sport and I didn't even find any value. That's bad.

I have some big price interests in the King of the Mountains and Young Riders Classification such as Daniel Navarro and Daniel Teklehaimanot. The latter I have I attempted to spell his name without checking I have done it right. Please don't comment telling me it's wrong if it is indeed wrong. Please do tell me if I'm right. Both have lost time already and will hopefully concentrate on the King of the Mountains and in a market that is open to so much variance such as knowing a riders intentions, getting a run for your money is of the utmost importance. Lawson Craddock and Emanuel Buchmann are my Young Riders bets and have avoided losing time in the first two stages. I have hope.

My Euro 2016 hopes are all but dead and buried. Overall, minus all my losers and adding some winners, I'm on Portugal and France at an average of about 1/10. Maybe not that bad, but it is bad. I placed the France bet in 2014 and I have a crumpled up William Hill betting slip lying around the flat. I might have to post to a friend to collect in England as the cost of the ferry to get back to England will take up even more money. What a shocking state of affairs. I pinned my hopes on Belgium and they let me down. I have no doubts I'll be betting on them for the World Cup in 2018. Gluten for punishment.

I best love you and leave you all. I have more housework to do and more football to watch. Next week will no doubt just be a pure blog of Heartbreak Hotel of Tour de France stage betting losers. If I have a winner like Steve Cummings last year I will probably post selfies with my top off. Let's hope for all our sake that doesn't happen.

Sunday, 26 June 2016

You can't eat value..

Well. What a few weeks it's been.

I haven't done the promised weekly blog for the last few weeks and for that I apologise to you. I understand you need your fix of utter rubbish and ramblings of a mug punter and luckily for you... Here it is.

They say you can't eat value and by God they're right. You certainly can't eat losing mug punts either. It all started to go downhill when I took the other half out for a decent meal. We live in Guernsey in the Channel Islands and it's entirely lovely. The sort of place your mum and dad dream of retiring to. We went out for a meal and I am a hopeless wannabe Yuppie. The place was full of Tories and also French lads who had, no doubts, come over on their yacht. Some bankers in there and plenty of people far better off than myself. In this situation, it's easy to become uncomfortable. Not me. I'm pure wannabe Yuppie after-all. Most expensive starter - Yes. Expensive wine neither of us want - Yes. Ridiculous tip well over the recommended 10% - Of course.

It was all going well until the waiter threw a glass of wine over the most Tory/Brexit OAPs in there. All hell broke loose. It was so embarrassing. The worst thing was that suddenly the Brexiters eyed up the most expensive things on the menu knowing there was a decent chance of a big discount. They were ruthless. The poor waiter offered to pay for dry-cleaning of this OAP's £40 M&S suit jacket but they knew they could get more out of it than a mere free dry-clean. They'd probably have been decent arbsters those lot. Maximum return from the situation. Martin Lewis would've been proud.

I felt sorry for the waiter and sorry for myself. I'm actually a kind hearted lad and to see some poor soul do his wages in one go was sad. I'm sure if he saw all the losers I'd backed the last few weeks he'd feel sorry for me too. Would he tip me 25% though? Probably not.

Leaving the place, I knew I'd done my pieces on food that was okay but not exceptional. Money wasted. It reminded me of something though. Back in the day, I had an awful drunk habit. I used to eat money. No really - I used to eat money. It was taboo I suppose. "Look at this guy eating a £20 note when there are people who could spend that £20 on booze". I know I have had this awful habit for a very long time. When I was a young kid I nearly choked when I ate a 2p piece. I nearly threw up in primary-school assembly as this 2p was soaked up in my stomach acid and flushed down the toilet for Yorkshire Water to enjoy. Quickly learning that it wasn't sensible to eat coins, I moved onto eating food and notes. I always used to try eat £5 notes cos there was value in that. You'd get to prove you were better off than the person who was witnessing you EAT YOUR OWN MONEY but you weren't left that skint you couldn't afford a taxi home after the night out. I'm proud to say when you realise you're not normal and you should stop drunkedly eating your own money I stopped. It's been 4+ years without eating any money but I can still waste and spend money like a mug. I now choose to waste my money on betting on football, especially during big football tournaments.

The start of Euro 2016 seems like years ago. It was probably the last time I backed a winner in a match. In the 2014 World Cup, Brazil opened up against Croatia and I remember the Both Teams To Score was odds-against. I piled in and had a winner in the first half. Like all good mug punters, it was now a tradition. Start of a major tournament? Odds-against BTTS it is. That Romania goal by the boy Stancu. What a time to be alive. Working in the industry, it's hard not to cheer on the results that help you out most and that Payet goal was like a dagger through the heart. That same feeling prevailed for a good few days until Bale and his boys sorted me out.

It's funny really because I'm a well rounded individual and I am also very well rounded. What this means is I know a lot about many sports and I am also very fat. The one thing I take most pleasure in is being right about football. I'm often so wrong about football that the only time I am right about a view I must tell everyone how right I was.

This year, the only time I was right was Wales. Oh Wales - with their made-up language and their low quality Premier League side with Gareth Bale. I had suitably piled into them in plenty of markets - but crucially not to win the whole thing!! There was some ups and some downs but them winning Group B was supposed to sort me out for the rest of eternity. I can't downplay how nervous I was during England's 0-0 draw with Slovakia but by God I was relieved when I was right about Wales and could act Billy Big'Un. Oh and I had some money to burn. And burn it I did.

In the distant past, I pictured now living in a post-Remain society where everybody loves the EU and I love the easy money earned on the back of it. It wasn't to be. Looking back, the single worst thing that could've ever happened was Queensland winning State of Origin on the Wednesday and me piling into the EU Referendum on the Thursday. The Maroons were lucky to win & had I my winnings in my account (after a delay because one firm wanted to settle after the 3rd match, a dead rubber). I piled my profit and more into the EU referendum and when the Mrs got home I persuaded her we should bet some more.

I think most punters have a bet where they say to themselves "this cannot lose". Some punters have it every day others maybe once a lifetime. I would say this was the most sure I have ever been about a bet & once you remove yourself from the statistical likelihood of each possible event and start treating it as 100% sure of an outcome - well you are in trouble (and rightly so).

It was an expensive lesson, but a lesson nonetheless. I enjoy a nice lifestyle. I have a girlfriend who is well educated & works in the finance industry and I have travelled the world and enjoyed the fruits of being brought up by decent parents albeit with a fair few sprinklings of Northern England and it's working class roots. The biggest mistake I made was forgetting that not everybody thought about the EU the way I did. As much as I would like to pretend I bet on the referendum way beyond my means, I would be lying. My bank is diminished but not extinguished. We will live to fight on another day.

(Apologies in advance for the pure unadulterated middle-aged man rant I am about to have)

One of the worst things about the EU Referendum was my savings. Waking up the next the morning knowing I had done my absolute pieces was bad enough but to see the value of the £ collapse was like losing the bet all over again. I probably lost just as much on the value of my savings than I did on the bet. The reason this is so, is because in the distant future I hope to retire*. By retire I mean move to New Zealand or Australia and enjoy my days watching rugby, winning by betting on rugby and fishing for sharks. My savings diminishing in value compared to the NZD and the AUD meant I might have to work another month or so before it becomes reality. Little did the absolute scrotes who voted Leave know how much pain and anguish they had caused me. I still feel depressed about it all. I'm not sure if it's cos of the losings and the savings or something more philosophical. I can no longer work in Austria if I wished. I've never wanted to work in places like Austria, but at least there was an option. It's a mess isn't it.

The last time I wrote my blog I left you with my Remain & Clinton for US President sure-fire double. Happy times but we know how that turned out. I'm not sure I'll leave you with any more depressing short-priced losers on this blog - not for this week anyway. I'm too depressed about not being able to work in Austria and the likes.

Remember kids - You can't eat value and you shouldn't eat money either.

Love and peace - except to the scrotes who voted Leave & made me (more) miserable.

Sunday, 5 June 2016

What A Time To Be Alive

It's Sunday. God's day. The day of rest and on such a day, it's a great time to make it clear we are living in the halcyon days of punting. That's what they say anyway.

My first blog, a preview blog maybe, got more views than I was expecting. Thanks for that. I'm unsure of which way the blog should go (career crisis after about 20 views of a blog - this is great) but I'll give you the run down of what happened during my first week as a Blogger. With the Copa America already started and Euro 2016 on its way along with the Derby meeting at Epsom it was imperative to only back winners so I could re-invest it all on all sorts of fanciful things.

Somehow, I got Queensland up in that first game and put my series bet in a very healthy position. They're about 1/4 to win the thing now and the winnings are already being spent. 1/4 shots don't lose do they? That's what the Twitter Tipsters say.

It's remarkable how when you have a winner suddenly value just appears everywhere. Some of my Queensland match winnings were with Marathon and so I was obliged to not withdraw anything until I had given them the chance to win it back off me. Horse racing it is. After some sparring I had found a winner and it had drifted on the show from my 6/4 out to an even juicier 7/4. Lovely. How good is Best Odds Guaranteed? Not that good apparently. I almost assumed every firm had this concession but seemingly not. I sort of respect them for not even giving BOG but whoever made up the phrase "It's better to have loved and lost than never loved at all" is wrong. The correct phrase is, "It's better to have had BOG and lost it than never had it all".

I've been having bad headaches recently and it's not because I'm struggling to comprehend how easy this game is. I needed to go to the doctors. "I've been having headaches" I said. "Take off your shirt" he said. Not a great start. The doctor had hay-fever and I ended up counseling him more than the other way round. In the most awkward moment of the appointment I said to him "I hope it gets better". That's right. Me telling a doctor I hope he gets better. He must have wanted to give up the game.

Blood tests were required to "rule out most things". Off to the nurses office. The nurse in question was retiring soon and was training up her incumbent. While she tried to distract me from the fact I was being butchered up and having heinous amounts of blood taken out she asked me about my job. Ah a good old chat about The Industry. She must have had some retirement funds burning a hole in her white outfit cos she was keen to know about the ins and outs of it all. Like many who don't work in The Industry, she adopted that tone of "Awww I feel sorry for you that I and everyone else feels utter disdain for you". I feel like that too sometimes.

Nurses are funny old people. My mum was a nurse and their job turns them into heartless individuals I find. They've seen it all and they've heard it all. It made my mum (no idea why past tense, she's still alive), into a person with a terrible sense of humour. I was 4 and on Christmas Day, I bounded down the stairs happy to see what old Santa had brought me. Before I could reach the second-to-top stair by Mum shouted up to me "Oh my God". I hastily replied "What Mum? What?". In all her glory and I have no idea why, she said "Santa hasn't been". I collapsed. Slumped to my bum on the stairs and instantly burst into tears. It was a joke she said. Some joke. Santa had been but I swear none of you have a Heartbreak Hotel story like that. I'm still bitter & twisted to this day.

I'd like to blame the loss of blood on Thursday as to being the reason why I did my absolute pieces on Wakefield to beat Hull KR on a -4 handicap. I shiver now looking back to that terrible time a massive 3 days ago. I had a friendly £50 on the handicap at evens with bet365. Wakefield were quickly losing by a relatively huge amount so there was only one thing for it. In again. This time at +6.5 in-play and then in again on their match prices at a Betfair Exchange price of 11.0. Wakey were only losing by 10 points with 20 minutes to go and it was well within the rugby league possibilities that they went and did the job and got some pennies back for me. They lost by 38 points. Oh dear. I'd lost my blood and lost my money. This wasn't supposed to be how it all ended.

The saving grace in all this was Chris 'Mike' Smalling. Portugal were without Ronaldo but as I woke up on Thursday morning the price had nearly gone. Nevertheless I still made them value at anything that wasn't odds-on and went into England at Evens and lobbed them in a double with Worcestershire to beat Yorkshire in the T20. By the time I placed the double in the early evening, I'd missed the prices for both those selections and I think the double paid just over 15/8. All was going well when Worcestershire were cruising and England were playing against 10 lads from Portugal. Easy this. With 6 minutes to go, it wasn't looking so good. Up steps Chrissy Smalldog and all is good again. Redemption for doing my pieces on Wakefield. I'd got back my losings and was ready to smash up the Derby weekend.

An Oaks-Derby double wasn't beyond me. In fact I wouldn't accept any less.

That didn't happen. Obviously.

I had sold it to myself that the Oaks and Derby were terribly weak this year and resembled a set of handicap fields. For that reason I chased the big priced winners. Not to be.

Between the million offers and a clean mug punter account, I think it's almost impossible to do your absolute pieces these days on any horse race(s) on Channel 4. I made a very good go of it though. I definitely lost on the horses and if it were not for some rugby league bets across the weekend that bordered on palpable, I would certainly have been in a worse position as I write this.

There would be no retirement this weekend. In fact I'm not sure there ever will be with such tame betting, but with the State of Origin series bet a certainty* and with enough funds in the betting account I'm confident of success. I've booked a suite on The Strip in Las Vegas for New Year's and I refuse to pay for it with my own cold hard. Time to put my foot down on the pedal.

It's fortunate I did this as suddenly I spotted even more certainties, just when I needed them, that were there as juicey Brucey bonuses. Remain wins the EU referendum and Hilary Clinton wins the Presidential Election in the USA. I've about three weeks to accumulate as much money as possible to run onto the double and I'll be writing a blog in 2017 from the sands of the Nevada desert.

That double above, at present, pays Evens. Yes you read that right.... EVENS. You lay down everything you have and come November, you have double everything you had in June. What a time to be alive.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Come on you Maroons!

I decided that I might finally do a blog. Every Sunday in the Racing Post Sunday Supplement (I have no idea if that's its real name), I read Steve Palmer's weekly ramblings about his punting - often mug punting - and decided to do the same. Mine will be even more edited and even less funny. Why lie pretending this will be good. It won't.

ANYWAY. I write this on the eve of State of Origin. I must stress to you right now that the recipe for this blog will be 'lose on football, horse racing, cycling and everything else and occasionally chop it off on rugby league'. A simple recipe. For some reason or another, people tell you to specialise on a sport. Unluckily for me, I choose to specialise on a sport that is only played in (barely) two countries and has such limited betting turnover on the exchanges that once you lose an account with a firm, it's tough luck and no Betfair to fall back on.

My day started off rather well today. I woke up earlier than expected and even got into work early. Since January, I'd been acting Billy Big'Un about Andros Townsend's chances about making the Euro 2016 squad. He made the 26 man squad and from an initial punt at 6/1, I'd kept on backing him at some decent prices up to 12/1 just before the season ended. We know the rest. I hope Andros feels proud of himself while he sits in Vegas or Dubai (why is it footballers now ONLY go to these places on holiday). Andros will no doubt secure himself a move elsewhere and be happy as Larry. I on the other hand will have to now pretend that I was right about him. Start a narrative that he was robbed of a place by a pesky little Manc that got lucky with an outrageous shot conversion rate. Fortunately I really rate the young lad and I'd had some bets on Rashford throughout the latter part of the season, including a magnificent £2 at 14/1 with one firm. I wanted a sporting tenner on and I got £2. Value is value and the £28 profit will be lost with another firm who know how much of a mug I am.

In actual fact, such small change will help to start healing the gulf in funds from a disastrous Giro d'Italia. I bet on most stages and barely made a breakaway let alone get close to winning a stage at any price worth talking about. Much to the happiness of everyone who follows me on Twitter, who will definitely understand what a cretinous individual I am when I chop it off on cycling. It's funny that I bet on cycling really. Those who know me understand I am not a cyclist. Those who have seen me recently know that I am balding and I have a huge scar on my head from when I decided to go down a Halifax hill at over 30mph without a helmet and inexplicably crash and slice my head open. The scar gets a lot of questions and the answers vary from "shark attack" and "chainsaw accident" to.. "When I was 12, I fell off my bike". Funny old game really.

Back to the aforementioned State of Origin. It starts on Wednesday June 1st and I have some money on Queensland winning the series (best of 3, a match each month for those who don't know). In total it probably averages out at about £400 at average odds of 20/21ish and will tonight put some money on Queensland to win Match 1. Probably about £100 at anything around or above Evens. If Queensland lose on Wednesday, I'll have another bet on them for the series at big prices.

I'd go in deeper on Queensland right now but I lost my bottle last year with Chris Froome to win the Tour de France at all sorts of prices and ended up selling a chunk of my bet(s) back to some lucky soul at 4/6 on the Exchange. I'd been investing all year and still won enough for my Mrs. not to tell me off for not doing the dishes for a week or two and enough for us to enjoy our new flat with lots of new stuff that she can show to her friends and make it look like we're doing okay. It also paid for a trip to Australia & New Zealand in January. Unfortunately I got horrendously sun-burnt on the second day which took the shine off the whole thing. The punting over there was horrible too. Decent holiday though, but did I mention the sun-burn?

January wasn't the first time I'd been to Australia. I've been before. I was a right scrotum of a 20 year old last time and studied in Sydney for a tiny period of my life. I'm a big NSW Blues fan but it's all about the boys from Queensland for the next three months - all for punting purposes. I had a mate from Queensland while I was over there in 2010 and he hated NSW. "In Queensland, if we like a girl, we go up and tell them. They'll tell you to f*ck off probably, but at least they'll not mess you around. Not like these Sydney lot". People from NSW and Queensland are different you see. State of Origin is a three game chance for those differences to be battled out. It's brilliant and the punting isn't bad too.

The punting landscape for me over the next few months will be the same as every Tom, Dick and Harry. It'll be all about Euro 2016 and even the Copa America when I have some winnings to burn. Oh and the Tour de France. Hopefully I won't have been banned from writing this blog by the Mrs. at that point and we can all enjoy a summer of 100/1+ winners stories on the cycling and odds-on losers in the football. If it all starts going terribly, I'll start making up some winners.

I'll continue writing my blog and have it posted every Sunday evening. This will probably happen for about two weeks before I get bored or realise nobody is interested.

Come on your Maroons!