Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Gift horse.....mouth

Many people will try to tell you that people who trade Latin American games in the wee small ours are over trading / addicted / whatever. I would beg to differ. Some of my most profitable trading involves teams that aren't generally well known this side of the pond.

On Sunday night I traded the Argentinian Primera clash between River Plate and Tigre, and the screenshot gives some idea of how eventful this match was after a totally forgettable first 50 odd minutes.

With River Plate seemingly sealing a last gasp victory with a third goal in the 92nd minute of injury time I looked at a chunk of money sitting at 1.01 to lay 3-1. Spurning the opportunity to spend a tenner of my hard traded profit to lay a thousand pounds (to be honest I'm not really sure how much was on offer - but that's not the point!) I watched as the suspended sign filled my screen. Assuming that was the final whistle I was all ready to hit the sack. You can imagine my emotional state when the market reformed to show the score at 3-2! Un-ber- leevable!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A walk down memory lane

At a friend's daughter's 18th birthday party recently the hosts provided, amongst other things, a chocolate fountain and some 'pick 'n' mix' sweets to accompany a healthily stocked bar (in case anyone was wondering what I was doing at a 'dry' 18th party!). I noticed in the pick 'n' mix there were some sherbets, and commented that I used to really enjoy them in my youth.

I haven't been 18 for more years than I care to remember, but do still have birthdays! It's mine today, in fact, and the parents of that young lady duly wrapped four Barratt Sherbets up for me to enjoy. I have devoured two of them this evening and, in light of recent events at Betfair towers it got me thinking about 'progress'.

The Barratt Sherbet I so fondly remember came in cardboard tubes, with a paper wrapping which was sort of ruffled up at the neck, surrounding the liquorice dip. You'd peel the paper back, and, in my case wolf the liquorice down in one go then tip the contents of the tube down your throat afterwards. Being cardboard, the tube was very 'squeezable' - which it needed to be as the sherbet tended to get lumpy and difficult to move down the tube. You almost used the tube as you might a tube of toothpaste.

So, what's it like today I hear you ask. Still tastes as nice but progress has completely fooked the packaging right up! Obviously in the sick world that we seem to inhabit these days you can't have the liquorice exposed to the elements. Leaving aside the preference most people would have to not have it exposed to dust and the unwashed hands of schoolkids etc there's always the very real possibility that some nutter would inject it with  botulism or similar, or, even worse, horse meat! So, in place of that comforting cardboard tube it now comes in a plastic tube with a twist top that sort of resembles the old packaging in its graphic design. Not only does the plastic tube not feel as good as the old cardboard one, neither does the sherbet clog around the open end as you tip it down your neck. This might seem like an advantage, but I always used to like the way you got a second bite of the cherry with the cardboard tube, by peeling it like an orange and getting at all the stuck sherbet.

Times, and tastes, change. I strongly suspect that Barratt Sherbet is a relatively slow selling sweet brand and that others might not share my nostalgia for the original packaging. But I'd also be confident that the change has not helped its cause.

Fairly obviously the above has nothing whatever to do with trading or betting.

But I still really can't get my head around where Betfair are trying to take their business with the recent re-packaging. As Soccer Dude points out the brave new world of the sportsbook has even reverted to using fractional odds. I'm sure that if I looked (I haven't, and won't) I could probably change a setting to have them displayed as decimal odds, but what are they thinking?? The world has moved on, and most people who bet or trade a lot have now got used to the much more sensible decimal format.

Enter www.betfair.com into a browser and you are taken, by default, to the sportsbook. You need to choose to go to the exchange. I could go on, but there really seems little point. I trade primarily for fun and the exchange model is the vehicle for this, not the sportsbook. So, unless Laddaq rescue the exchange model I can't help thinking that I might be in need of a new hobby for the winter evenings in a year or two.

I've always fancied having a go at one of those highly detailed wooden model boat kits, maybe that'll do the trick?

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Oh Dear

I'm sure most people reading this will have received the same e-mail from Betfair that plopped into my inbox earlier this evening. In essence it was to publicise the launch of the much vaunted Sportsbook, something in which I personally have zero interest in. I have sportsbook accounts elsewhere and with Bf's form will not be in too much of a hurry to add them to that portfolio.

But, buried deeper in the email was the news that they were still intending to close the old (for which, read current) Bf site in favour of the new one. We should, however, be reassured  that

We've been listening to your thoughts on the new Exchange site, and - while it's still our intention to close the old site down - we will continue to develop the new Exchange site in line with your feedback before doing so. 

Fair enough, they've been listening to customer feedback - there's always a first time, I suppose! So I beetled over to the Forum expecting to find page upon page of posts praising the new look site and suggesting pay-rises for the developers of same. Hmmm. There were plenty of posts about the subject. But guess what? I couldn't find a single, solitary, one in favour of it!

I don't use the Bf website as a trading medium, preferring Geeks or Evo depending on what I'm doing, but, as I said previously, I do like to have the in-play coupon available as a scrollable list on one webpage, which the new one doesn't necessarily offer . My issue seems trivial compared to those being endured by people who actually use the site to bet or trade. Why they don't use software is beyond me, but it seems ridiculous that Bf can't make a betting site work for its customers.

I hope the move to this new site, and to a sportsbook, don't emerge into a winding down of the exchange model. For all their faults, surely Bf don't want to become a reverse Kodak, do they? Let's hope not, and in the meantime let's hope that, for once, they do take some notice of what their customers are saying.