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.

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