Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Low liability laying

An excellent night for those people out there who like to lay Liverpool. Unfortunately I'm otherwise engaged on Tuesday evenings and rushed out at half time without doing so, but yet again the 'cash cow' of the last two seasons proved worthy of that moniker again.

I did trade the Any Unquoted in the game three times. I'm personally rarely able to resist laying it in almost any game where it's under 3 at the start of the match, and duly did so. The intention was to take the green after 10-15 minutes and recycle it as the goals pinged in. As sometimes happens when you take that course, the first goal pinged in in short time. Whilst unfortunate in terms of my already set trade, it did have the effect of pushing the price of AU down to under 1.7. Think about what that means.....with 86 minutes plus injury time left to play the market believed that in 100 games, 59 of them would end with a four goal or more score from either or both teams. I don't know the stats and haven't the means (or inclination) to dig them out but my intuition tells me that it's bollox to put it bluntly! In this case it's clearly a reflection of the general consensus of opinion being that Liverpool would go on and thump County.  Having relaid at double my original stake I was able in fairly short order to come out with a small green before the second goal, at which point the odds dropped to the mid 1.2's. So I was able to recycle the same money again, and that was all I ended up doing in the game.

The main point though, is that it looks as if some £70k was matched on Liverpool at 1.01. The full time score was 2-2. If your bank can stand it, there's little downside to laying  £100, £1000 or even £10000 at those odds. Sure there will be many more losers than winners...but these things do happen. Based on my experience there are two top-flight English teams that it happens to more than most, the aforementioned and Arsenal. I'll always lay both of them at 2 or more goal leads.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

How times have changed

Whilst City were 'playing' with Newcastle last night, comparisons were drawn with the Leeds team of the 1970's who mercilessly toyed with a team (I think it was WBA but my memory is hazy - I stand to be corrected) playing a sort of exhibition match to the delight of the crowd. One thing led another via google  as often happens, and I found myself reading about the 1970 FA Cup Final in 1970. 

That is a day I remember fondly, as at the tender age of eight, I sat with my Uncle Arthur watching the game and became a Chelsea supporter. To say I remember the game in detail would be to over egg the sauce a bit, but the account I read last night suggested it to have been a bruising encounter, and a very bad tempered one to boot. That match ended 2-2 when Ian Hutchinson, of the windmill long throw fame, netted in the final moments of the game.

The replay was played at Old Trafford and, if anything, was a more bruising encounter than the first had been. Remember, this is the era when players rejoiced in nicknames like Ron 'Chopper' Harris, Norman 'Bites yer legs' Hunter and 'Battling' Billy Bremner. Those names were genuinely descriptive of the way the game was played back then.

Which brings me to the title...according to an article on SkySports.com, retired referee David Elleray reviewed the game some 30 years later and revealed that he would have issued no fewer than 6 Red Cards and a staggering 20 Yellows. There was just the one 'booking' in the whole match!

Of course, the Blues won the replay thanks to a Dave Webb extra time header. Happy days :)

Monday, 19 August 2013

The meaning of life

One of the things I like best about the Betting / Trading 'blogosphere' is that it sometimes throws up some fascinating debates, not all of which are directly related to the subject. There is one such debate brewing at the moment about life, wealth, work and happiness / fulfilment / pyschological well-being call it what you will. Anyway, I thought I'd put my tuppenceworth into the mix.

To set the background for those who wonder what the old fool's rambling on about now, look at Caan Berry's piece, and Steve's comment in response to it and then pop over to Green All Over to see Cassini's usual non-combative everyone's entitled to an opinion stance on the subject.

I think both Caan and Cassini are right in different ways. It is rich, if you interpret that term in a holistic sense rather than a straight financial sense, to be your own boss. If you can earn a living working a few hours a day, have no-one to answer to but your other half (if applicable) and don't see the point in working harder to earn more as you don't see the point, I think that's a fortunate position to be in. Likewise if you are so contented in your career, as seems to be the case with Cassini, that the work / life boundary fades to an indistinct line then I also think that's a fortunate position to be in.

I generally speaking really enjoy what I do to earn a crust. There are apsects that I don't enjoy, although they are few in number and none engender a 'hatred' of the task - more of a 'needs must so let's just get it over and done with' response. The truth is though, that I sell cars because I was not good enough at playing either football or golf to make a career out of what I truly enjoy (on, in the case of football, used to enjoy) doing most!

For most people reading this post and the others mentioned I suspect that work is a necessity to enable them to live. I also suspect that, given the choice / chance most would like to quit the 'rat race' and control their own destiny. It is a little too simplistic, in my view, to say that if you dislike your job that much you just need to go and find something that you do enjoy.

I also think that people of my parents' generation and my generation have had / are having a far easier time than people of my sons' generation are likely to have. I'd like that not to be the case, but suspect it will prove so.

One trader I know gave up the rat race to trade full time. As far as I know he was making a good go at it, but then got invited back into the corporate world. After a bit of internal turmoil the appeal and challenge offered by the greasy pole proved too much to pass on and back he went. He stopped blogging regularly then as well, which is a shame. He knows who he is ;-).

Another trader of my acquaintance had been full time for over four years, and again, as far as I know earnt well enough from it. He now works with people who need help in a couple of areas of life truly central to their general well being. When I asked him why he quit full time trading and whether he was enjoying his new role his response was interesting. It seems that Betfair and their attitude to their customers was the central reason for him quitting... i.e. the Premium Charge among other things. He also said that in his new role he feels completely fulfilled, something that trading full time had not achieved for him. I don't know how much he's making now, but suspect he's taken a drop in income in return for what he sees as an improvement in his quality of life.

Cassini says that one definition of richness is when one's income from investment exceeds expenses. I'll add a definition I've heard: 'true wealth has been attained when the interest on your interest exceeds expenses'. I honestly doubt that many people reading these words fall into either camp. I know I don't. But on balance I'm inclined to side with the view that wealth or richness are all relative terms, and that, 'wishy washy' or not, I'll take a good family and close circle of good friends over the mansion and the Ferrari. All day, every day!

An opportunity or an aberration?

Another 'so close and yet so far' week in the FTL. Across the major European Leagues the scores I'm after (1-1, 1-2 and 2-1) account for about 23-25% of results and at the moment, after filtering, I'm stuck at an irritatingly low strike rate of 20%. I'm confident that over time, especially as the season settles into some kind of rhythm that this will pick up. How both Birmingham and Derby contrived to fail to find an equaliser is beyond me, to be honest!

Take a look at the screenshot...

I'm wondering if I've stumbled across something here... the highlighted results would have seen the Any Unquoted pay out. I hadn't logged the prices, but with the possible exception of the Swansea v Man U game, I doubt it would have been below 12 in any of those matches. 

So there we have it... spend hours sifting through the in-play coupons looking for Scatter Gun games... and then... in a blanket fashion, lump on Any Unquoted!

Monday, 12 August 2013

An inauspicious start!

But let's draw some positives from it! Firstly, the dreaded 0-0 was avoided in all ten games. Harder to dodge, however, were some, frankly, freakish results.

Ross County losing at home to Partick, a stunning 6-1 win for Hertha over Eintracht were not in my tealeaves on Saturday morning. Sunday got even more extreme, with (hopefully temporarily) homeless Coventry City running out 5-4 winners in a thrilling match against Bristol City played in Northampton. That actually worked out OK, as I laid Coventry at 0-3. I thought my chance of a big win had gone when City scored the equaliser only for Coventry to score a fourth before my hedging bet was matced. I needn't have worried as Bristol did fight back, allowing for a hedge and then a cheeky LTD - which also came in at 5-4. The 3-3 between Schalke and Hamburg also provided some interesting and profitable trading.

The results would have been a lot more palatable had Zwolle not scored an injury time third goal that turned a 1-2 into a losing 1-3. So, it's all their fault! The sad fact remains, however, that the Scatter (or spray!) Gun results are running at a 32% negative ROI after week one....as they said in a song once upon a time, 'the only way is up'

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Spray guns at the ready!

I'm pleased to say that Cassini has allowed me to take part in his famous Friendly Tipster League in the forthcoming season. My entries will be unusual in that they are Correct Score picks, rather than the match picks the other protagonists will be making (although having said that one of Cassini's own entries is based on the O2.5 market). I will be interested to see how my selections compare with the 1x2 entries - predictably I'm submitting 'Scatter Gun' scores of 1-1, 1-2 and 2-1. I'm grateful to Cassini for allowing an entry like this, as the available odds in this market are not recorded in his preferred data source (www.football-data.co.uk - an excellent site, if it's new to you). We've therefore agreed a fixed odds system for recording this, and the odds agreed are on the low side for most of these games.

I shan't do this every week but I thought you might be interested to see my selections for this coming weekend.

The full-time results of the matches concerned will determine the outcome of my entry, but in reality of course I would actively trade the games in-play. I would ordinarily put the 2-2 in the mix at the right odds, but with a view to using the leverage that goals create on that score to mitigate liabilities elsewhere. Including 2-2 in these selections would, I'm sure, weaken the return.

In case you're wondering if I've renamed the trade, fear not! Cassini referred to it as the 'spray gun or whatever he calls it...' - hence the post title :-)

Friday, 2 August 2013

The Cash Dispenser is open again

I refer, of course, to my regular Friday night forays into Ligue 2. The screenshot below doesn't tell the whole story by any means as some astute trading in the higher scoring games offset the loss on Arles (which, in their infinite wisdom, Betfair suspended from the fist goal after a couple of minutes for the whole of the rest of the match). The Niort game didn't go in play, and one thing that I noticed last season is that the one game they don't put in play per week (why not, ffs?) seems to usually hit the spot. My intention going forward is to put a half stakes 'set and forget' on the game not going in-play. A loss on the Metz game was averted by a lay of 0-0 at 1.3 and a last minute goal. I know some will say 'that looks like chasing' but in my defence I was green across all seven in-play goals long before I placed that lay, and would do it again next week if the situation arose.

To cap an already more than acceptable night's 'work' off - Braga have just this second completed yet another fightback from 2 goals down. 'Appy days!