Wednesday, 31 December 2008

why aren't South Africa favourites?

So the Aussies have been pounded in two tests, their bowling has moments of brilliance but mostly holds no fears at all to the tourists, the batting apart from Ponting is mediocre (although Hussey is due a change of luck after that shocking decision by Aleem Dar in Melb) and they've reacted with three changes for Sydney.

But none of the new guys are going to make an ounce of difference and South Africa will want to go home on a roll. They want to pound Australia into the ground, so they take the momentum back to the three-match series in Sth Africa, and so they can take over the no.1 mantle.

How about the draw? Sydney is a lifeless pitch for the spinners isn't it? Maybe 20 years ago, but there has only been one draw in the past 15 Tests and the forecast only shows sporadic showers.

The Ashes in 2005 was profitable for me because I abandoned Australia when they were obviously off-colour, and now it's time to do it again. There's no room for national allegiances when it comes to betting.

Test cricket is normally a lay the draw strategy on Betfair for me, but this time it's just get on the Proteas....

anyone for New Year's resolutions?

Ok people, so what do we want to sort out in 2009? Let's start with the logical ones for betting:

- Make more money
- Have better discipline
- Stick to a plan (have bigger balls rather than losing faith)
- No betting without proper research

Any other suggestions?

Sunday, 28 December 2008

it's all over for Australian cricket

It pains me to say it but the dynasty is over. It had to happen with the retirement in recent years of McGrath and Warne, but this series against South Africa is confirming it. Hayden is past it, Ponting doesn't have any rabbits to pull out of the hat as captain, Mike Hussey is out of form (but will be back), Brett Lee is injured and on his last legs, Stuart Clark is injured and has been found out on flat pitches, and there is no sign of a wrist-spinner anywhere.



The Ashes next year might be quite a tight one. Not sure if I could jump ship to back England, but I'd certainly be wanting to lay Australia at this stage. They could quite easily go to South Africa and lose three series in a row...

Monday, 22 December 2008

Fancy yourself as a tennis punter?

Then you should enter this Champions Race competition. It's essentially a Fantasy Tennis comp based on the ATP Champions Race for 2009, but you only get one chance at selecting your players. It has been going for years, I've never done better than one place off the money, but I'm determined to win it eventually! There are some pretty sharp guys entering the comp, but over the course of the year, who knows what might happen!

£50 to enter, prizes down to 6th. First prize at least £1k, depending on the number of entries, all entry fees go into the pot.

Further details - click here

Plenty of side betting going on as well, just to keep it interesting until the last event.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

small US-focused exchange falls by the wayside

You'd probably not notice unless you were focused on US sports markets, but TradeSports has closed down. A message on their site essentially says they've given up as they were never going to make any money out of it.

Go back five years, there were probably about 40 betting exchanges out there including several white-labels. Without the liquidity, they will all fall over. Betdaq and WBX have been around for a few years now and still can't make much of a dent on Betfair, despite Betfair scoring a few own goals this year. Matchbook in the US is obviously proprietary backed in-running (prices set in-house, might as well be a bookmaker) much like Mansion tried to be. And there's a new joke-looking one advertising on Livescore at the moment - BetCruise, advertising no commission! Anyone offering odds on them going broke by the end of 09?

Saturday, 20 December 2008

1.01 beaten in biathlon


Ah, you gotta love this sport! Too bad I was watching the exciting Aus v Sth Africa cricket test instead!

Norwegian Alexander Os skied brilliantly to take the lead, despite missing one of his shots (which means he has to ski a 25second penalty loop). But then one of his teammates, a late starter Lars Berger, who only got a start when the top Norwegians Emil Hegle Svendsen and Ole Einar Bjorndalen pulled out to go home and train instead, shot clear (10 from 10), very rare from him, and took the win at any old price (was part of 'Any Other'). Usually the short prices getting beaten come from bad shooting, but this time it was simply there was a dark horse left in the field who is a very fast skier.

Friday, 19 December 2008

SportsXchange TV dies

Did anyone notice? If you thought BetBrokers had a poor business plan, then it amazes how anyone thought this one might work. A sports betting news service on a Sky channel so far up the scale (ch456) that nobody would find it and only with rights to obscure sport like Brazilian football. Since Tuesday there has been a message on the screen saying SportsXchangeTV had been credit crunched.

Seriously, there's an idiot born everyday, where do you find people with money to throw away like that??

A-league players caught betting on games

Pretty dopey to get caught out by this when the agreements between Betfair and sporting authorities are very public. The player caught for betting against his own team, Grant Brebner, was lucky not to have copped a much harsher suspension....

Read the FoxSports article here

Players shouldn't be betting on their own leagues... and if they must have a bet, don't do it in your own name!

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Spanish football in match-fixing controversy

Not a new story this, but one I haven't covered. Not a betting scandal as such, just where two teams thought it convenient to arrange a result to let one team go up.

Full article

You'd have thought this sort of stuff was confined to dodgy countries and lower leagues, but no, even the good ones in Europe has these 'relationships of convenience'...

TABCorp shafts punters and tries to play the sympathy card

TABCorp, the monopoly for betting outlets in Victoria, now claim it's too costly to run phone betting operation past 9pm, even though they schedule all the meetings and they continue until closer to 11pm.

Won't make an ounce of difference to online punters, but the poor old punter who sticks to the phone has been shafted.

HeraldSun article here

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

RacingNSW not prepared to fight in court?

Rather puzzling response from RacingNSW in the legal case against Betfair re race fields levy and turnover tax. Having been served with a writ over two months ago, they have yet to prepare a defence, and the NSW Federal Court has ordered them to get a move on!

Read Bill Saunders' latest article about Racing NSW wasting more punters' money in court.

Will they ever learn?

Monday, 15 December 2008

Will snooker finally convict someone for match-fixing?

Snooker has been a sport dogged by match-fixing scandals in recent years. Not just who will win the match, but correct score betting. It's far too coincidental when a match with dozens of correct frame scores just happens to land on one particular score that every man and his dog had backed!

SportingLife article

Finally snooker now have data-sharing arrangements with Betfair and othe betting firms to get to the bottom of these instances and determine if there's fire amongst the smoke. Jamie Burnett and Stephen Maguire will be sweating.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Cheltenham off again!

Unbelievable. I've had tickets to Cheltenham twice this year. In March, I had hospitality tickets for the Wednesday which was called off due to high winds, and today we were going for the quality racing, but persistent heavy overnight rain led to the meeting being abandoned.

£@$%@@%^&*$£^""#?!!

Grr....

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Mark Read sinks the boot into Aussie racing and praises Hong Kong.

Former employer of mine who speaks a lot of sense.

A snippet...

Hong Kong has the most efficient, fair and easily understood rating and handicapping system in the world. This means an equitable sharing of prize money to all owners not just to an elite class who can dominate by weight of numbers. Prize money is distributed equitably from the lowest class through to the highest to effect a cost of training/prize-money ratio to make ownership both attractive and viable. The population of horses is measured and controlled to satisfy the requirement of optimum field size of fourteen competitors at Sha Tin and twelve at Happy Valley each race. This is a planned racing economy limiting the greed, inefficiency and ignorance that is the blight of Australian racing which in some sectors, most notably New South Wales, is reduced to such mediocrity its future is threatened.

The full article at Virtual Formguide

Victorian racing set to kick more goals with other states of Australia waste time and money in court

The wagering landscape of Australia has changed forever. Licensing Betfair, allowing interstate bookmakers to advertise in TAB heartlands... the Aussie punter now has a choice and the racing industry has to adapt or they will suffer if they stick to outdated ways of business. The new Minister for Racing in Victoria, Rob Hulls, and the CEO of Racing Victoria Ltd, Rob Hines, should be applauded for looking to the future and moving forward.

Here's an excellent article from The Age.

One thing that has always puzzled me is why races start so early in Australia. Why does the first race begin at 10.30 on Cup Day? Why do races start at midday during summer? Summer meetings in Britain rarely start before 2pm, which for Australia would be ideal - other timezones (WA, Singapore, HK, even Europe) have more opportunity to get involved.

Peter V'Landys will send the NSW racing industry broke while Hines and Hulls take Victorian racing to another level.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Money-buyers burnt again in amazing weekend of football

Punters thinking they were getting free money late in the game between Everton and Aston Villa yesterday were sadly mistaken.

Betfair summary of the last two minutes

Villa lead 2-1, one minute of stoppage time to go:

• Villa trade at 1.04 (1-25)
• Draw trades at 26 (25-1)

Everton equalise and there's less than a minute of stoppage time to go:

• Draw trades at 1.01 (1-100) for over £124,000
• £14 is traded on Villa at odds of 440 (439-1)

Ashley Young scores last-gasp goal


And that wasn't the only one. In Spanish, two matches ended up drawn 3-3 after one team (Osasuna vs Valladolid and Getafe vs Villarreal) went 3-0 ahead. Haven't seen the figures yet but there would have to be carnage at 1.01 or 1.02 there too.

It's never over 'til it's over and there is no such thing as 'free money'! If you've backed the team that was leading, never be afraid to lay some of it off at a very short price. It will cost you hardly anything, and will maintain your sanity!

Saturday, 6 December 2008

gotta love biathlon!


Brits and Aussies will laugh when I say biathlon is my favourite trading sport. But it is utterly brilliant! So much depends on the shooting, a biathlete can go from 1.5 favourite to 400 outsider with a couple of missed shots. It is fantastic for betting in-running. First event weekend of the season and didn't get to concentrate on it too much, so stakes are only small. But the return is pretty good for not much action :)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

NSW govt just can't stop fiddling with a supposedly free market

From a Betfair Australia email to affiliates:

On 3rd December 2008 the NSW state government passed an Amending Act for the advertising laws in New South Wales, the Amending Act enables all Australian licensed wagering operators to legally advertise in NSW. The Act included a regulation whereby licensed wagering operators are not permitted to publish gambling advertising that “offers any credit, voucher or reward as an inducement to participate, or to participate frequently, in any gambling activity (including as an inducement to open a betting account)”.

In essence, this means that by law Betfair can no longer advertise free bet offers to residents of NSW. It should be noted that the legal onus is on Betfair to comply and that there is no legal risk on the affiliate for displaying a Betfair free bet advertisement to a NSW resident. Additionally, it is the advertising of, rather than the crediting of, a free bet which is now illegal in NSW....

------

If this restriction applies to all gambling operators, namely those pesky gaming machines which ruin families (approx 95% of problem gambling cases in Australia come from either poker (fruit/slot) machines or casinos, not sports betting), then this would be a justifiable social policy. But it's not. It's just another level of interference to protect their baby, the TAB, which has the legislated monopoly on off-course betting outlets in NSW. Once upon a time the TAB was a government agency. Now it is privatised, answering first and foremost to its shareholders....

So why do they deserve one iota of protection??

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Sportingbet heading to South Africa?

Rumours abound about the South African market opening with Sportingbet publicly declaring an interest in it.


Sportingbet is now looking to build upon its Latin American business, while a licence is pending for its launch into South Africa in early 2009...

Article here

You can be sure they're not the only ones lobbying hard down there.

Betfair sign huge sponsorship deal with Ascot racecourse

ASCOT today announces Betfair, the world-leading betting company, as the new sponsor of the King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, which will be run for £1 million for the first time in 2009 (£850,000 in 2008). The sponsorship will run initially for five years as the centerpiece of a wide-reaching commercial partnership between the two parties.

‘The King George VI & Queen Elizabeth Stakes (sponsored by Betfair)’ is the headline agreement in a substantial seven-figure deal over five years that Ascot and Betfair believe will develop into a wider commercial relationship. Ascot’s late July meeting will now be presented as ‘Betfair Weekend featuring The King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes’.....

Full article here

Interesting times ahead. Looks like I'll be at Ascot a bit more regularly then!

UniTAB purchases CentreRacing

A poorly-kept secret which has been doing the rounds but as I knew one of the shareholders, I couldn't comment on it until it became public. UniTAB have stepped into the corporate bookmaking world by buying out Terry Lillis' CentreRacing business, effective Dec 1. No surprise considering TABCorp now have their own in Luxbet, but UniTAB are more likely to run it as a business rather than a loss-leading sabotage unit designed to bring down the oppostion like Luxbet.

With UniTAB highly likely to snap up more states to join their pools, it looks like their business is going forward, while TABCorp are still in dreamland...

Spreadfair close down

Hardly a surprise really when you think about it. Exchange betting and spread betting are the most difficult forms of betting to understand. So what happens when you combine the two? You have a concept which is bloody hard to explain and appeals to a very tiny sector of the betting public! Exchanges rely on liquidity. To get liquidity, you need lots and lots of punters. Spread firms are niche betting companies, they will never become mass market due to the credit checks etc that people require to get an account. Also, spread betting is almost completely restricted to the UK. There is no international market for it. Combining the two most difficult concepts was always going to struggle, it looks like Cantor have simply given up a business that cost too much money and was never going to make it.

On the Spreadfair website:

Dear Cantor Spreadfair Customer

Cantor Index Limited has taken the decision to close Spreadfair, its online betting exchange, to focus on its financial spread betting and CFD business.

Effective from 4 pm, 1st December 2008, Cantor Spreadfair will cease to accept new customers and will take no further opening wagers.

Any funds that you have on deposit with us remain totally secure and any funds not required to support open bets will be refunded to you immediately.

If you have any questions, please contact our customer services team on 08000 111 441.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

When a big name team loses the plot

Ask most people about football in Argentina and they probably name two teams, Boca Juniors and River Plate. Football in Argentina is split over two seasons, the Apertura (opening, running now), and the Clausura (closing, held early in the New Year).

Last season, River Plate were top of the Clausura, sitting pretty and on top of the world. But then they sold some key young players and the wheels fell off. Now they are sitting dead last on the table, and still starting way too short in their matches. It happens regularly with popular or 'hype' teams. People still remember the good old days and are reluctant to assess them purely on most recent form.

Take a look how bad they are going in the local league. It's even worse if you include South American competition as well.

This weekend they will start short again, at home to the club directly above them. I wouldn't be backing them at 1.53, that's for sure!

Tasmania looks ahead with night racing

Rather than moaning like the mainland TABs, the Tas Tote gets on with it, sponsors a track and links in with Asian night racing.

Night Racing For Tasmania
Tuesday, 2 December 2008: TOTE Tasmania will fund a $6 million lighting project that will enable the Tasmanian Turf Club to stage night racing next year.

The funding was announced by Racing Minister Michael Aird at the official opening of the new all-weather StrathAyr track in Launceston on Sunday.

RacingandSports article

Meanwhile other states can't see the forest for the trees...

Monday, 1 December 2008

TABCorp to kick the small fish out of the pools?

What's the reasoning behind this I wonder?

RWWA Media Release

Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) has today been advised of Tabcorp's intention to end the pooling agreement and the fixed odds agreement with RWWA by mid 2009.

It is understood all participants in Tabcorp's pooling and fixed odds arrangements have received similar notification.

RWWA and Tabcorp have operated a successful pooling agreement since 1991 and RWWA has been an integral member of the national fixed odds arrangement since 2000.

RWWA chief executive Richard Burt said Tabcorp's decision to end both agreements was a major surprise.

"The decision is completely inconsistent with the business relationship between both parties," Mr Burt said.

"RWWA has been working closely with Tabcorp in recent months on a number of key projects to improve and expand our product offering.

"RWWA will immediately move to assess its options, one of which might be to renegotiate new agreements.

"The timing of Tabcorp's decision is significant, given the recent pressures that the racing industry has had to face with Equine Influenza and product fees."

==============

Very interesting. A few guesses here:

1 - NSW and Victoria are finally going to link up and the smaller states will be too much work for an already-exhausted IT system.

2 - TABCorp want to re-negotiate the deals since the gentleman's agreement between states re racing revenue crossing borders is now gone

3 - TABCorp now want to compete in every state and can make more money by taking clients off the local totes.

All that will happen now is they will all move across to UniTAB (who have now officially purchased Centreracing, the worst-kept secret of the betting industry), which will hopefully mean only two TABs left as Victoria & NSW finally combine. Eventually they'll get around to having one national tote and stop their bickering...

Melbourne bookies accused of being 'weak as piss'

First-start 2yo lands a plunge in Melbourne, and the trainer is not happy that he barely got set for anything.

Age article

WHEN bookmakers at Moonee Valley yesterday opened two-year-old Kwassa Kwassa the $13 outsider of the seven-horse field in the first race, all the ingredients were in place for the execution of an old-fashioned plunge....

shrewd trainer remembers the good ol' days of landing a plunge

Rick Hore-Lacy is getting on a bit now, but has been a very astute Melbourne trainer for many years. Here's how he started off building his bank.

The Age article

The champion trainer's days big betting plunges are very much behind him.

RICK Hore-Lacy got his first taste of gambling success in the mid-1960s as a student at Melbourne University.