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Showing posts from January, 2008

cash in on the over-reaction of mug punters to press reports

If you ever want to witness how much punters over-react to media speculation, take a look at a Next Manager market on Betfair. The current Next Republic of Ireland Manager has had nine men matched at below 3.5, four or five of them at odds-on. Mug punters just jump on the bandwagon blindly and prices just keep on going down to ridiculous numbers. And then the Irish press have the gall to say it's all just a field day for bookmakers when they are the ones fuelling the fire! Cash in on the over-reactions - lay the short prices, no need to get involved laying someone at 100. Trappatoni crashed from 400 down to 1.73 on Betfair within 24hrs, and now he's back out to about 10. Think of the facts - Ireland have no need to appoint a manager any time soon. Apart fronm the friendly next week against Brazil (the squad has already been picked so no point hiring a new manager to take charge of a team he didn't select), they don't have a match scheduled until September. So there'

the Australian Open finals

Women Maria Sharapova has been in dominant form this fortnight, flogging Henin in straight sets and then taking care of a broken-down Jankovic in the semi-final. She needed to be on her game early on, facing former no.1 Davenport in R2, so to maintain that form for a fortnight is an excellent effort. Her shoulder injury worries of last year seem to be gone and her serve is now a major threat again. Ana Ivanovic hasn't looked in quite as dominant form, but she has reached another Grand Slam final. A 0-6 start against Hantuchova wasn't promising, but she turned that around to progress to the final. Melbourne is like a second home to her, she has family there and the locals have really taken to her. The slate currently stands at 2-2, with no match going the distance (one injury retirement in 2nd set). The odds are heavily favouring Sharapova, a little too far in my opinion. Odds of 1.25 (1/4) on Betfair, represent an 80% likelihood of her winning - it can't possibly be that o

Societe Generale rogue trader scandal

What a surprise. Inside an ultra-greedy bank, one of its traders gets way in above his head and loses the firm £3.65 billion, far surpassing the Nick Leeson effort in the early 90s with Barings Bank. The only thing that surprises me about this is that there are not more cases of this. People with addictions can be found in all walks of life. Too many people with addictive personalities get into gambling when it really is something they should steer well clear of. And all financial trading is is another form of gambling.... This trader has speculated, got it wrong, cooked the books to cover his tracks while he gambled more to solve the problem. And then the hole he dug in the first place got worse...and worse... and worse. The biggest mistake people make when betting is trying to chase losses - all it will do is send you to the poor house mighty quickly. Discipline is the most important trait for betting. Sometimes it just isn't your day - recognise it early and stop for the day. Wa

paddock watching

There is an excellent series of articles this week in the Racing Post about what to look for in the paddock - i.e. when horses are parading before a race. Membership is required but it is free. Once you have signed up, click on the Racing Header, go to News - Cuttings Library, and search for 'paddock watching'. Assessing whether a horse is fit is not the easiest the thing to learn, but once you know what you are doing, it should make a big difference to the success of your betting.

Hewitt is gone as a player if he keeps that up

The late night epic against Baghdatis was no excuse - the simple fact is his gameplan is not good enough to match the likes of Djokovic. That grip with heavy topspin on the forehand may have served him well for 10yrs but he needs to find the killer shot to finish points. The younger, stronger blokes like Djokovic will eat him for breakfast every time. Considering the betting was 1.2 Djokovic before the match, punters and bookies are onto it as well, at least against the top players. Watch for anomalies in prices against lesser players at other events. He can still beat up the small fry, but anyone with a decent game will really trouble him.

Hewitt v Baghdatis thriller

Early in the fifth set of the Australian Open clash, over £10 million has been traded on Betfair. It is after 4am in Melbourne, yet most of the crowd are still there. Over £500k has been matched on Hewitt at 1.01-1.03, when he was 5-1 up in the fourth set and had two chances to serve out the match, with at least one match point. His serve keeps failing when in position to win the match, he did it again in the tiebreak to go two sets all. The betting has swung heavily both ways, the lowest price on Baghdatis to date has been 1.28. £200 has been bet on the Cypriot at over 100/1, with a top price of 300. An amazing betting contest - sport is made for betting!

Aus Open previews

I have written betting previews for tennis Grand Slams since 2000. To read my previews for the 2008 Australian Open, see them here at Punting Ace.

Getting the Best of Grand Slam Betting and Tennis Trading

Getting the Best of Grand Slam Betting and Tennis Trading By Scott Ferguson originally published at Tennis Betting on an Exchange and The Grand Slams Betting on tennis has changed markedly in recent years. Once upon a time, bookies would offer a selection of matches, then close all markets when the match was scheduled to begin. Now in the technological age, we have live scoring from most tournaments, live television coverage and in-play betting. For punters, this means it's a whole new ball game.... To my mind, the best thing about betting on tennis is the live action. A two-runner market which can vary markedly on a single line call or unforced error offers enormous opportunities for the sharp-minded punter. But more about that later. Outright betting The French Open and Wimbledon are the two Slams with the least number of genuine winning chances. This is due to the specialist nature of the respective playing surfaces. Hardcourt is more of a 'middle-ground&#

Hot favourite for Aussie glory Henin is "better" than Federer

originally published Dec 7 2007 on Scott's Spot - Scott looks at Henin's unbelievable year in 2007 and why you're best off backing her for the Aussie Open now The Australian Open final is under two months away and recently we've been taking an early look at who is likely to be a contender in the Rod Laver Arena. I've taken a look at the women's lineup. Justine Henin landed every prize on her schedule in 2007 in an amazing performance. After the breakup of her marriage kept her away from Melbourne, she lost just FOUR times for the rest of the year - to Safarova in first event back in February, Serena in Miami, Kuznetsova in Berlin and Bartoli in that unbelievable semi at Wimbledon. Since Wimbledon, she has won 25 matches in a row and has dropped just three sets. This is as close to domination in the women's game since the best set of legs ever to grace a tennis court, Steffi Graf, reigned in the early 90s. While all the plaudits go to Fede

Laying a book in a tennis tournament

originally published at Scott Ferguson talks us through the golden rules of laying an ante-post book on a tennis tournament Tennis punters aren't treated to many chances in long-term antepost markets. Racing fans get their big races up to 12 months in advance and a swarm of other races in a shorter time-frame, while football and golf punters can have weeks or months to get involved in their big events. There is an art to laying a book in any market - it comes down to timing, margin and anticipating what the market will do between now and the end of the event. There was an excellent thread recently highlighted in our InPlay newsletter discussing laying every player in a major golf tournament, read it here. Tennis, as you'll soon notice, is quite different. Having a draw full of knockout matches means the overall champion needs to defeat only seven opponents rather than the entire field. One player, such as Roger Federer, can dominate the market meaning you ha

Gasquet could be the big mover in 2008

Scott Ferguson looks at who the movers and shakers could be amongst the current Top 10 players on the ATP and WTA tours originally published on Instead of trawling through the 50-200 ranked players in order to find the big movers of the year, let's take a look at the top 10s and what I think they will look like come December 08. 1. Roger Federer. He lost nine times in 2007 and still had 1400pts to spare at the top of the rankings. And his main danger allegedly can't put in the legwork to make that step up. 2. Novak Djokovic. Getting ever closer to the top and still improving. Capable on all courts, leaving him more room to gather points. But is he now the hunted? 3. Rafael Nadal. Just three losses on clay in three years (107 wins), but the pack is getting closer. If Ferrer and Nalbandian can beat him indoors, then it's not impossible to see him being pressured on the clay. His chronic foot problems could be just an excuse in advance, or the ailment which

Veterans of the tour are back on track

original article published at 2008 has only just begun but three veterans of the tour have returned with a vengeance, writes Scott Ferguson. Elena Dementieva dropped out of the year-end top 10 for the first time in five years, and didn't progress to the final eight in any Grand Slam. Probably sick of the ridicule from fans about her super-lame serve, she has worked hard on it over the past few months. Opponents now face a faster, more varied serve which can finally win free points for the 26yo Muscovite. The previous model, a one-dimensional slice which did little more than start a point, often broke down under pressure, to the extent that Elena was better off receiving than serving. Dementieva's groundstrokes are as good as anyone's in the women's game. The fact she has been able to reach two Grand Slam finals and be ranked in the top five with a schoolgirl serve is a remarkable achievement. Potentially, she can kick on to seriously contest t

Sports guides - how to bet on various sports

Here are some great guides from Betfair about some lower profile sports. It's not all about football and racing you know!! Biathlon Pelota Boxing Rugby Union Baseball Snooker Greyhound Racing American Football Basketball Gaelic Games Soccer - Asian Handicap betting

Give Yourself An Edge - Play weak markets

Give Yourself An Edge - Play weak markets By Scott Ferguson Originally published at Take a look at the highest rating sporting events on TV, then compare them to a list of the most popular betting events. The bookmakers follow these events closely, the punters follow them closely, so how are you supposed to make an edge? Ask yourself this question: If a bookmaker has to price up English Premiership soccer, the Super Bowl and Australian NBL basketball all at the same time - which event is he more likely to make an error in? Think about it - the vast majority of clients and the bigger bets are going to come for the higher profile events. Thus your bookie is going to spend 90% of his time doing the research, managing the risk, keeping an eye on the newswire and other prices on the big events as well. That makes it very tough for you to find an edge on those markets. Every little item gets reported on TV, on the internet, in the pape

Sports Gambling Maxims - from

From an American college sports betting forum - similar to many of the previous ones I've posted. When looking back at a year of college football, and necessarily college football betting, gone by it is easy to note some of the mistakes we have made in attempts to increase our bankroll. Though most folks who have bet for a long period of time should have overcome all of these pratfalls (especially if they hope to be at all successful) I see entirely too many betting "Veterans" make these "Rookie" mistakes. So collected here for you today are "Bryan Mulroney’s Sports Betting Maxims" (Use them and prosper or ignore them at your peril.) 1. Always be in control This is maxim #1 because it is the paramount virtue of all bettors. Betting should not be done on a whim or just to have some cash riding on the game (unless you are chalking up the $10 wager as an entertainment expense.) When betting games you should be sober, clear

The Zurich Axioms - Trading Principles

Originally written by Max Gunther, reprinted from Initially written for financial trading, but just as relevant for sports punters and traders. On Risk: - Worry is not a sickness but a sign of health - if you are not worried, you are not risking enough. - Always play for meaningful stakes - if an amount is so small that its loss won’t make any significant difference, then it isn’t likely to bring any significant gains either. - Resist the allure of diversification. On Greed: - Always take your profit too soon. - Decide in advance what gain you want from a venture, and when you get it, get out. On Hope: - When the ship starts sinking, don’t pray. Jump. - Accept small losses cheerfully as a fact of life. Expect to experience several while awaiting a large gain. On Forecasts: - Human behaviour cannot be predicted. Distrust anyone who claims to know the future, however dimly. On Patterns: - Chaos is not dangerous until it starts to look orderly. - Beware t
Part II of that article from PPM (26) REALITY CHECK When betting, learn early that you can’t back the winner of every race. If you’re really good at selecting, you may back about three winners every 10 bets. More than that, and you really are doing exceptionally well. Not that MASS of winners means profit. If you’re getting 40 per cent winners at evens, you’re losing 20 cents in the dollar. You need ANY AMOUNT of winners whose odds total enough to give you a profit. Thus, if you can get 20 per cent winners, you need an average price per winner of 4/1 to break even, and 5/1 to make 20 per cent profit. This is a tough ask. It can be done, but it’s tough. It needs work, which I’ve stressed as one of the ways you can hit top gear . . . through hard work. (learn the maths of betting and how many winners you need to pick - this is vital) (27) CHECK OUT THE CHARTS What do I mean by the charts? I’m talking of the turn-and-finish pictures in the Sportsman, which cover

Some Maxims of Punting from various sources

I don't mind betting on the races, but it's no longer what I focus on. Here are some betting rules proposed in a leading Australian punting magazine, with my comments interspersed in red. 50 WAYS TO HIT TOP GEAR By Richard Hartley Jnr Courtesy of Practical Punting Monthly Australia’s Favourite Racing Magazine As punters I think we spend an awful lot of time dreaming up new ways to win, or perhaps just new ways to lose! Punters are, in the main, optimists and dreamers and receptive to new ideas, advice and re-programming. Trouble is, much of what they seek and find they then proceed to ignore. Going back to old habits, even bad ones, often seems easier than trying to meet the challenge of something new and unknown. For those of you seeking some revolutionary breakthrough, I am afraid this article will not be what you want. However, I fervently believe that you will be able to learn something to your advantage. Basically, I’ll be passing on some co


Greetings - welcome to the land of sports betting. One thing that bothers me about people betting on sport is that so many of them can't see past the obvious, which is usually horse racing and football. There are so many other sports out there to bet on, and more importantly, so many more opportunities going in these other sports. Open your eyes, expand your horizons and don't fall for the same stuff that everyone else follows - all that means is the information is way too public - if everyone knows about it, where's the advantage for you?