Sunday, 28 November 2010

What a weekend!

A whole host of superb sporting action to enjoy this weekend shame there just isn't enough hours in the day to watch it all. One of the events I didn't have chance to watch fully was the ATP World Tour Finals in London. Managed to catch the Murray/Nadal match though and Andy ran him pretty close I thought and Rafa looked a little tired for the final which would have been tough regardless against Federer which he went onto lose.

On Saturday there was the Hennessy Gold Cup which unfortunately for myself and many Denman fans wasn't the fairytale outcome with Denman only managing third. To be fair he was carrying and giving away ridiculous amount of weight to some up-and-coming novices and a few proved too good for him. Although I think his run was still admirable given the weights.

Made a good profit on Betfair today with my lay of Liverpool pre-kick off combined with a further Liverpool lay @ 1.71 at half-time plus a little extra on Tottenham @ 6.8 also at half time. Felt this price was just too big since Spurs have comeback in numerous games this season and the game was quite even and I felt Liverpool had squandered some very good chances and it was only a matter of time before Spurs created some good ones for themselves. Even with the missed Defoe penalty, Tottenham managed to win the game with a goal in injury time that made my Sunday Roast taste an awful lot sweeter (well not sweeter as such just more enjoyable I guess.)

Thank you Aaron Lennon!

If that wasn't enough sports for you The Ashes have been continuing through the night and I've been watching most of it. Stayed up and watched until about 4am this morning with England coasting at 210/1, much more easier to stay awake when England are enjoying a good spell in the game and when you've laid Australia @ 1.48 before the day's play. I'm not overly familiar with betting on cricket but I do watch nearly all England game and have a good knowledge of the sport. It was clear the pitch wasn't doing much and if England could survive the initial morning spell I felt there would be good opportunities for England's batsmen to post big scores, and that proved just the case with Cook & Strauss getting tons.

Clever me!

Now the match looks destined for a draw, although a look at the graph (below) just shows how there's a massive scope for trading in cricket if you know what your doing. Although I salute anyone who's managed to stay up all night and remain focused enough to trade. I probably should trade out my bet for a whole green screen but I think I'll watch the opening stages of today's play and see if there's any early England intent or indeed wickets. Can't see either team looking to force a result to be honest, Strauss is not going to want to get in a position where he'd risk losing the game to win it after coming back strongly in the second innings. That's of course unless the pitch dramatically starts turning sidewards of something in which case Swanny could come into play. But in all likelihood it should end a draw.

A trader's dream?

Also a small shout out to the Ashes coverage on Sky which I think has been very good and they manage to provide that little bit of humour when the cricket is going through a slow period. Although last night's (or this morning's) scream of anguish from Lord Gower made me jump slightly, thankfully he'd only hurt his toe as a result of Nasser Hussain's chair. Pretty funny clip though...

Friday, 26 November 2010

Come on Denman!

Tomorrow sees the Hennessy Gold Cup at Newbury as Denman tries to make it a hat-trick of successes in this race. Backed ante-post at 7.00 was expecting the price to shorten slightly more, think I'm going to let it run and hopefully cheer Denman home. His performance last year was simply remarkable and one of my favourite sporting moments of recent history.

Come on Denman!

Elsewhere the Ashes got under way, I've managed to stay up to watch both days play till lunch so far and catch the rest of the highlights later in the day. Slight edge to the Aussies so far but still think England have a very good chances in this series. Placed a bet prior to the first day and that was simply a LAY of Australia to win the series. More on that as the series develops.

To conclude on the football, there's not too much that takes my fancy this weekend but Everton to beat West Brom and Wolves (+0) at home to Sunderland are my only two bets so far.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Champions League and referees

Arsene Wenger does have the tendency to talk absolute nonsense a lot of the time but thought he was spot on with his comments in the press after their defeat to Braga. Arsenal clearly should have had a penalty but instead Vela, the player involved, was booked for diving. Wenger branded the five-official UEFA system "useless" and I don't disagree with him. There always seem to be a reluctance even with normal linesman to over-rule or make independent decisions during the game. Part of the reason could be that they don't want to undermine the referee in charge by going against one of his decisions and secondly, probably the main one in the eyes, is that if these extra officials happen to make a decisions (correctly or wrongly) against the home side they are going to get stick for the remainder of the game. These extra officials aren't going to be perfectly unbiased in their decision when they've got the Stratford End (at Old Trafford) or The Kop (Anfield) breathing down their neck.

For this reason alone they should scrap this system, to some extent referees already seem biased towards the "bigger clubs" this system just seems to favour that even more. The video referee much like a third umpire in cricket is the only way to go in my opinion if decision-making wants to be improved. Whether that could be implemented successfully is another matter and I for one wouldn't want to see a lot of decisions being reviewed and thus slowing down the game. Part of the fun of football is the controversy and a lot of the controversy comes from poor referring decisions taking this completely out of the game may seem a good idea but it would definitely reduce football talking points and I happen to like talking about football.

I wonder if the UEFA officials run a 5-a-side league...

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Oh Dear Arsenal

Crazy game at the Emirates with Arsenal seemingly totally in control at half-time with them being 2-0 up and totally dominating the game. Second half Tottenham just came out and played well and with a helping hand from Fabregas they came back into the game and ended up winning 3-2.

Mr.Wenger wasn't too happy it seems...

Friday, 19 November 2010

Dirty little arber

I've been undertaking in a bit of arbitrage betting (or arb betting for short) over the last couple of days. From my general observations this practise is generally frowned upon and you'll get your bookmakers accounts closed pretty sharply if you undertake it to any great degree. But I personally favour the Back to Lay arb which is taking a bigger price with a bookmaker and then laying it for a shorter price on Betfair (even with the commission charge taken into account). Essentially it's much like any trade on Betfair but instead you've guaranteed yourself a profit before the event as even started, this is where the great competition in the bookmaker industry comes to your advantage as they will generally try and compete on price where they see fit now that there's various odds comparison sites out there that punters have become aware of.

The typical arb for me at least is usually only around the 2% mark, but it is totally risk free money providing you place the bets correctly and use a reliable bookmaker(s). Don't know whether I could see myself doing this long-term because there's limits and the highly likelihood of accounts getting closed which don't make it appeal to me, then again there's no harm in the occasional arb that will cover the cost of your lunch or go back into your betting bank. Read more about arbitrage betting here

I actually had a poor day trading on Wednesday which was part of the reason why I decided to do a few arbs and step away from the trading for a while. November performance still looking good but a couple of poor trades knocked me a bit and I think I'm better stepping back from the trading for a while.

My football bets are up on my blogabet page for this weekend, main fancies are in opposing West Brom at home to Stoke and betting Man City with a draw no bet away at Fulham. My Premier League picks have gradually improved over the last couple of weeks hopefully another decent profit can help me reduce my overall loss so far this season.

I think Sparky's Fulham will find it difficult up against his old employers.

My Tip of the Weekend: Man City (DNB) @ 1.72 (Coral)

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Mid-November update

Glad to say at the mid-point of November the profit figure is considerable won't reveal the figure now but I'll go as far as to say if I have a half-decent second half to the month it will be one of my best months for the year. A lot of the profit as actually come from my football trading and my amazingly lucky £1k profit week on Betfair, since then I've toned down my trading down a bit. I've actually placed a few long-term bets on the horse racing one on Denman for the Hennessy at 7.00 on Betfair for £50, price already dropped but not much liqudity since it's ante-post market, Expect him to be much shorter come the day of the race all things being well I'll be able to lay off for a free bet probably. Also had a few smaller bets on the Grand National antepost, a long time off the race itself but just backed a couple I liked the look of from last year's race and providing they run they'll surely be much shorter come closer the time.

I've actually lots of Uni work and assignments I really should be getting on with but the weekend is always spent watching sport whether I happen to be betting on it or not. Plenty of drama this weekend from the not totally unexpected demolition of Harrison by Haye to the climax of the Formula One season. Glad Alonso didn't win it can't stand the guy, decent season for Jenson and Lewis hopefully they'll have an improved car next season and therefore have a better chance of the battling for the title. But well done to Vettel he was the fastest man throughout the season and probably deserved it on balance, would have won it a lot easier had he not had the habit of knocking himself and other competitors out of various races.

To finish I can't miss commenting on the remarkable scenes from Stamford Bridge. I've watched plenty of Sunderland away from home and they have been nothing but average at best this calender year. But a superb, energetic display saw them beat Chelsea quite comfortably in the end and the 0-3 scoreline did not flatter them if anything it could have been more! Don't buy the whole Chelsea had lots of players missing excuse, every team has players missing and there's no sympathy for Chelsea who should have quality squad depth with their resources. Fair play to Sunderland, didn't help my fantasy football team much though, thought Ashley Cole should have at least got an assist for the third it was a brilliant cross...

A good impression of what a Sunderland 3-0 layer might look like

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Once a thug always a thug

Just a quick comment on everyone's favourite footballing personality Joey Barton. He's had more "chances" to redeem himself than I care to count. For the record I actually think he is a decent footballer when he doesn't resort to the sort of behaviour we saw against Blackburn last night.

Clear punching an opposition player straight in the stomach for no apparent reason in front of dozens TV cameras that have ever angle covered is just plain silly. The referee or his officials didn't spot this but he'll surely be in for a 3 match ban (should be more in my opinion) with the aid of the video evidence.

It was more suited to a boxing ring than a football pitch. Maybe we should let Barton take Harrison's place for the big fight on Saturday I'd love to see how tough he thinks he is then.

David "The Hayemaker" Haye

Monday, 8 November 2010

Miserable Mondays

Don't know whether it's just my perception but I definitely seem to think that Mondays always seem to bring the worst of the weather. Howling wind and rain crashing against my bedroom window this morning when my alarm clock goes off at 8am, would have been so easy just to stay in bed and forget Uni for the day. Somehow managed to get myself up and into my lectures on time. Although my heart really isn't in it that much anymore. I'd much rather be at home analysing bets and trading market on Betfair. I've had a very good run on Betfair recently, mainly on football trading matches available to watch on Betfair Video. I can't help but think I've been highly fortunate in the process, maybe sometimes ignorance is bliss. Betting purely on what you see on the pitch rather than any pre-made presumptions about each team may be the way to go. My Premier League bets have been awful recently and I'd consider to have very good knowledge of that league yet I've been trading highly successfully on obscure South American and other top European league that I don't pretend to have a great knowledge about.

Here's my quite remarkable Betfair P/L for the last 7 days. Luck or skill? I'd be leaning towards the former that's why I've withdrawn a large chunk of the profits (nicely boosts my horse racing system funds for the new year) and am going reduce my stakes slightly for future trades. But for the first time ever I feel I've been trading really well, think I mentioned my 1.03 lay in a previous post I've had a few similar ones since then but not quite as short as that. Had some lucky escapes also though the Setbul v Rio Ave game comes to mind with a last minute goal from the visitors turning a £200+ loss into a £200+ profit.

How to net yourself £1k in a week (the unorthodox way)

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Kauto back with a win

I've decided this blog as become to football-oriented so a little entry on the horse racing here.

Nice to see Kauto Star back in action after he of course crashed out of the Gold Cup in his last race. You'd never have guessed that with his performance at Down Royal today, he jumped perfectly and showed his class to overcome the field. Although the one to take out of the race is definitley Sizing Europe in opinion, always been a fan of this horse and glad to see it stay the trip. Be interesting to see where they go with it from here, worth an entry into the Gold Cup based on that performance. Everything for me is always building upto Cheltenham which is the only major time of the race calender where a waiver from systemtic approach and get out my form studying hat. Could be in for a very good line-up for this year's Gold Cup with old boys Kauto Star and Denman as well as last year's winner Imperial Commander plus the up-and-coming younger horses. However plenty of big races before then including the Hennessy in which Kauto may run in according to Paul Nicholls.

Will Kauto run in the Hennessy?

Monday, 1 November 2010

Football Madness

Today for me summed up why I love football so much. That can sometimes be forgotten briefly among the process of betting, but football at his best is pure entertainment or the highest form in my opinion.

Firstly I'll start with a game most people probably won't have witnessed. An amazing game in Serie B between Sassuolo and Siena which saw four goals in the opening twenty minutes. The away side Siena scored shortly before half-time to go 3-2 ahead. The second half was still lively despite no goals being scored up until injury time that is, when the home side Sassuolo scored not just once but twice to win 4-3! What makes it even sweeter is the fact I had laid Siena at around 1.50 and then laid the draw after it went 3-3 at my lowest ever successful lay price of 1.03.

Just when I think I'd seen enough football entertainment for the day I watched the Premier Legaue match between Blackpool and West Brom. I actually expected this to be a good game with two attacking sides and the game didn't disappoint what with nine men West Brom battling hard in a thrilling end-to-end game. Had a small lay of West Brom in this game pre-kick off as well as my over 2.5 goals bet I took earlier in the week. So overall very good day, made more money today than in the last month put together, crazy stuff really. Making money is a lot more fun than doing my boring Uni work I must admit.

Good day's work