Sunday, 31 May 2009

French Open now wide open!

Bloody hell, I go out for the day for my wedding anniversary and come back to find Nadal has been beaten! With him and Djokovic out, that really opens it up. Federer's quarter of the draw is quite straightforward, but I don't think that entitles him to be 2.26 to win the title.

Fernando Gonzalez should not be double Andy Murray's price, he's a much better player on clay than any of his opponents so far, and their h2h is split 1-1, albeit a while back.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

HANA Pool Party at Churchil Downs

Tonight the Horseplayers Association of North America (HANA, the American punters' rights lobby group) is targetting a stakes race at Churchill Downs for their pool party. The Pool Party, or buycott, is designed to make track owners sit up and notice the lobby groups have some power, and that tote punters in the US are sick and tired of high takeout margins.

Support the cause, you can bet into the US pools via most UK bookmakers.

Friday, 29 May 2009

TABCorp to offer fixed-odds on all codes of racing

Now for people in the UK this mightn't seem a big deal, but in Australia, you've never been able to get a fixed-price off-course on harness and greyhound racing, with the exception of a handful of feature meetings. Smaller gallops tracks really take the piss with book percentages, so the tote has always been the more favoured option because of the strength of the interstate pools.

Will TABCorp be setting all their own prices in advance, or just waiting for the track bookies to do all the work for them?

We'll fix everything

Betfair will be loving this - one of the big things holding back their Aus racing volumes is the lack of early fixed-odds markets. If prices will be available early, not just 15 mins before the race when the first call comes from the track, then Betfair's markets will fire up, particularly from international customers who have long demanded early prices to trade from and use to lay-off.

Fair play to TABCorp for doing it, considering they've made all the noises about letting their wagering licences expire in the next few years. They are finally starting to understand the word 'competition'. But you know full well they will enter this project with a goal of shutting out the competition and then killing off the product.

On the prizemoney debate in Aus, here's a series of articles from the excellent TrackData site

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (Part 1)- THE PRIZEMONEY MYTH IN RACING

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (Part 2)– TABTANIC, THE LOVE BOAT WITHOUT A RUDDER

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH (Part 3)- TABTANIC, THE LOVE BOAT WITH A SINKING END

Friday tennis action

Two more bets today.

Women

0.5pt Larcher de Brito 3.5 to beat Rezai

Price just too big here, impressive win over Zheng last round while Rezai was lucky to get past Hercog on Wednesday.

Men

1pt Soderling 2.75 to beat Ferrer

The Swede was flying last week, and while not as damaging this week, he hasn't dropped a set. Ferrer was lucky to get past Kiefer and is starting to get found out by the rest of the tour.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Sinking the boot into Racing NSW and the Australian Racing Board

These guys do a pretty good job already of shooting themselves in the foot, but Patrick Smith of the Australian manages to give them more of the lambasting they deserve for their pig-headed ignorance of how the modern world works. If idiots like this lot ran the world since time began, we'd still be living in huts thinking the world was flat.

NSW racing fights for life

Here's the deal Bob Bentley - don't blame the corporate bookmakers and Betfair for the damage left behind by the incompetence and arrogance of NSW racing administrators. The money they've pissed up the wall on legal fees fighting forlorn cases would fund at least two months of city racing. Every other state is doing just fine, but NSW has created the mess it's in, nobody else...


Bill Saunders also weighs in with his views

Something doesn't quite add up

When publicly-elected officials go on ego-stroking campaigns wasting money with little regard for the consequences, they really should be hung out to dry. They are 500/1 in a two-horse race to win this case....

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Thursday tennis action

Fighting back after an awful day - Kiefer went close, managed to trade out for a nice position, but it still didn't cover the rest. The scoreboard says 0-5.

Women

1pt Cirstea to beat Cornet 2.6

This is a play against the French headcase mostly - her R1 match had 16 breaks in 22 games, that's woeful. Cirstea is good enough, although her form hasn't been brilliant.

2pts Wickmayer to beat Stosur 2.2

Have been following the Belgian for several wks now and profitably too. On a great run and with stronger clay experience than the Aussie.

1pt Kutuzova to beat Martinez Sanchez 2.75

Another I've had some wins on this year, solid player well suited against the flair of the Spaniard and has a strong 10-4 record against lefties.

1pt M.Gonzalez to beat Seppi 3.0

Good R1 win over Fish, backing up last wk's form, while Seppi won less than 1/3 of his 2nd serves in R1, a licence to tee off.


UPDATE

Better results today, 2-2, +0.6. Kutuzova blew a one-set lead unfortunately.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Wednesday tennis action

Like a few tomorrow, here goes:

Hradecka to beat Suarez Navarro 3.1

The Czech has almost halved her ranking this year and is underrated. The Spaniard has a lot of hype about her since her performance in Melbourne, and while she deserves to be favourite, she shouldn't be this short. Hradecka belted her R1 opponent, she's running hot after reaching the final in Strasbourg last week.

Rus to beat Shvedova 2.8

The Dutch teenager is maturing well and starting to make her mark against the older women. Like Shvedova, she has won through qualifying. The gap between them in ranking isn't that much and winning 14 of her last 18 has her in a nice rhythm.

Hercog to beat Rezai 2.8

Really like this Slovenian teenager, 25-3 this year on clay, beat Kleybanova R1. Rezai hits the ball really hard, but with blustery conditions forecast, she might find it harder than normal.

Lay Ferrer vs Kiefer at 1.15

The Spaniard is starting get found out on the tour, he is limited but does what he got very, very well. Never much harm in laying at 1/6.

Lay Simon vs Kendrick at 1.16

Simon really struggled against Odesnik in R1, and he's not that flash. The Frenchman has really looked a showed of his best this season. Kendrick really had the serve going, hitting 35 aces and 85 winners. These two met six wks ago, the break pt tally was similar but Kendrick's serve was nowhere - 0 aces. He's warm now, if that serve keeps going, Simon is in for a long day.


All single unit bets.

UPDATE

Poor effort from the women. Rus was atrocious, lucky to even win a game. Hradecka wasn't up to an in-form Suarez Navarro, while Hercog threw away a 6-3 3-1 lead. Kendrick had two set points in the first and then collapsed. All down to Kiefer now..

marketing blunder at Pinnacle


Anyone else get this email this morning? What a shocker! Nadal at 2.75 to win the French Open? Pig's arse! If they were in the UK they'd cop a severe blast for false advetising and deservedly so. Someone should be sacked for a massive balls-up like that. The men's prices are obviously for Wimbledon.

Have been hearing weird things about behind-the-scenes issues at Pinnacle of late. Not the sort of things you want to hear about a book which has had a very high reputation for several years.

tennis action Tuesday

I'm not contracted for any match previews this fortnight, apart from my outright one which can be found on Punting Ace, so here are my bets for Tuesday.

1pt Benneteau (v Tsonga) 3.0

Benneteau leads the h2h 3-1 and made the final last wk in Kitzbuhel. Tsonga rarely plays on clay, although he did manage to beat two infrequent clay players last week in Dusseldorf. When two players from the same country play, I'd rather be on the outsider too.

1pt Voskoboeva (v Mirza) 1.95

Voskoboeva beat K.Bondarenko last week in Warsaw, reached the quarters. Mirza is terrible on clay and is rarely fit. Has the talent when all the planets are in alignment though.

0.5pt Reynolds (v Monfils) 6

Just taking a punt on the unhealthy state of Monfils. He has chronic knee problems, and looked terrible last wk losing to Baghdatis.

Monday, 25 May 2009

first 1.01 going down at the French Open?



Poor performance from Wawrinka against an ordinary Frenchman. Didn't appear injured in the limited coverage I saw. Not much done at 1.01 but plenty close to that. Five sets on clay takes a long time. The match isn't over yet, if Stan comes back, Devilder has been matched at 1.07 and below for £130k.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

relegation day for the Premier League

So the fire sale is about to start at Newcastle. What a bunch of over-priced, injury prone hacks they have up there. Owen, Barton, Smith, Duff, Viduka - all out the door, and then there are all the fringe players who added nothing to the squad. Mike Ashley, you've done the business world proud - you've taken a big club which should be capable of competing for a place in Europe and sent them down to the Championship. Boro go down, no surprise, they couldn't score to save themselves and not replacing Mark Schwarzer was a huge mistake. And West Brom kept it interesting until last week, but were effectively gone months ago.

What do we think the relegation market will look like for next season then?

Hull will have second-year blues. They started like a house on fire and then soon got worked out. As much as I love to see underdogs to stay up, they have a hell of a lot of work to do to stay up. Wolves and Brum qualified comfortably and should have some cash and experience of previous promotions and relegations to learn from. Pompey's financial worries put them next on my list, and tomorrow's playoff winner has all the work to do.

Here's a quick relegation market prediction from me, framed to 317%

Burnley/Sheffield Utd 1.33
Hull 1.5
Birmingham 2.6
Wolves 3.1
Portsmouth 4.2
Stoke 4.8
Sunderland 4.5
Bolton 5
Blackburn 6.5

What do you think?

BetClic splashing the cash

Their marketing budget must be pretty healthy if they can afford to sponsor at the Monaco GP. Being French-focused, to sponsor in Monaco makes a lot of sense after all - different laws, but essentially the same country.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

HANA pool party

Once again, our American punting friends are encouraging action on a specific race, in order to lobby for more respect from racing authorities.

The race is Canterbury Park Race 8 - details and free formsheets to be found here. It runs at around 11pm UK time.

More power to the punter!

this weekend's previews

It has been a crazy week here so apologies for the lack of updates - it won't happen again :)

This week I've been busy.

NRL previews

French Open title previews here

Monaco F1 preview

IPL finals preview

IBM Grand Slam Widget

Monday, 18 May 2009

another Asian bookie in the Premier League

Technically they are licensed in the Isle of Man, but one look at the site tells you that 188bet are an Asian bookie. Bolton and Wigan both sponsored by the same firm, and club shirts, not that these two clubs sell a great deal, will only contain the logo on the adult versions.

188Bet agrees soccer sponsorship deal first

It's not that rare for two clubs to be sponsored by the same firm - it has happened in Scotland for years.

So the big UK firms of Ladbrokes, Hills, Corals etc aren't prepared to sponsor English football, allowing the likes of SBOBet (West Ham), 188Bet (Bolton and Wigan), Mansion (Tottenham), BoyleSports (Sunderland), Wolves (Sportingbet), Bet24 (Blackburn and Leeds), 32Red (Aston Villa), 888 (Middlesbrough), Fulham (Betfair) and Blue Square (Conference leagues) into 'their' local space in recent years. Plus there's all the action on the continent with bwin, Interwetten, bet-at-home and Unibet getting involved in team sponsorships as well.

Heard a rumour the other day that Betfair might be doing something with FC Barcelona next year, as official betting partner, rather than shirt sponsor. You heard it here first....

Saturday, 16 May 2009

final Eurovision position on Betfair



1. Norway
2. Iceland
3. Azerbaijan

Magnificent :)

Note how high the volume was relative to this morning's post. Getting in early enabled me to keep laying over and over without additional risk. I love these big markets with national pride and low-moderate liquidity. There were only two countries I didn't manage to lay - Israel and Croatia, who must have been really bad!

who's going to win Eurovision? I really don't care :)



I think I've earned a pat on the back with this one - best laying effort for a long time. Take a look at my posts on NASCAR for advice on how to trade a market like this. Bit-by-bit, plenty of margin, try to lay the field. But you must get in early, when the fat margins are there.

FWIW, I've laid Norway and the UK for small in the winner market.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

big drifters can still win...



.. don't let anyone tell you any different!

I liked this one today, I'd seen her win at Yarmouth last year (she threw the rider going to the stalls, ran a lap of the track and still won the race!) and marked her down as something special. She did come up quite short today, I was hoping for 5/1 or so, so the drift didn't surprise although it was bigger than expected. Officially 4/1 out to 13/2 on course, but she didn't play up at the gates so the layers were barking up the wrong tree.

an amateur's attempt at match-fixing

One thinks that this journo didn't have to try too hard to get this story, sounds like this bloke is more of a glory-seeker rather than a hardened gambler. The journo also has little clue of how gambling works outside Vegas.

A tennis gambler looks for a fix

With thanks for OnThePunt for the link.

Paddy Power buys Sportsbet Australia

This has been in the pipeline for a while but I was asked to keep quiet on it to protect my source.

Paddy Power take control of Sportsbet

Ireland's leading bookmaking firm Paddy Power, mooted to be a bidder for TAB licenses in Australia, has purchased a 51 per cent stake in Northern Territory-based Sportsbet.

Racing Post reported that Paddy Power had paid an initial €27.2 million for the majority stake in the company established by the Tripp family.


The tricky part here is that Sportsbet own nearly 20% of IAS, who are up for sale as well. It's all go in the Australian betting market at the moment.

Sportsbet, based in Darwin, was the original sports bookmaker in Australia. It was founded in the late 80s by Bryan Clark who sold the business a decade later. It has since changed hands a couple of times before the Tripp group purchased it and improved it significantly. And now they've been able to cash in on their hard work.

Paddy Power buys Sportsbet stake, shares rise

It sounds like a wise strategic move for them - the UK and Ireland is a very competitive market, tax in Ireland has just gone up and the Australian market has just been deregulated.

Here's the presentation that Paddy Power has passed onto shareholders. There's one serious flaw in it - the awareness of the name. Australia has TAB Sportsbet (the monopoly sports operator in most states) and there is Sportsbet (often listed as Sportsbet NT or Sportsbet Australia). Ask those same people who said the awareness was 78% to differentiate between the two and it would fall flat on its face!

making a few changes

I decided it was time for a change in decor, so bear with me while I get all the colour scheme and gadgets right!

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

IAS sells off Canbet

Canbet sold to Yin Khing Investments for $1million

Hardly a surprise, Canbet has been a lemon for sometime. Back around 2000, Canbet was flying. Licensed and run from Canberra (hence the name), it was a leading brand for betting on US sports, betting tight margins and trading the American way - copy the Vegas line and move it when everyone else does. Move the price a few cents and the scalpers come in to balance up the books. But then they got too ambitious and tried the same formula on European and Australian sports. They failed dismally. They moved the operation to the UK to gain more European clients and make better use of the timezone, but all the while, employing little resource at risk management and trading. A sportsbook valued at over US$20m was going downhill fast.

Then along came tighter regulations in the US, forcing Canbet to cut all their ties with American customers, who had been the entire reason the business was profitable. IASBet came along soon after and bought Canbet for $1m, a huge drop in price compared to their high-flying days. The value for IAS was in the UK licence, which they had been seeking for some time. IAS tried to extend their Australian operations into Canbet but like much of their trading, couldn't get it to work. IAS make virtually all their money from racing and proprietary trading off their brilliant databases and trading models. Their profits from cusotmers are negligible.

The Canbet operation continued to flounder, losing AU$8.6m in the 2007/08 financial year and another $3.7m in the latter half of 2008. The time had come for IAS to cut their losses and get rid of the lemon that was hurting the value of their share price.

The new owner, Yin Khing Investments, is registered in the British Virgin Islands with links to Singapore.

This now makes IAS a better prospect for a buyer, but in this climate and at the price Read & his board want, who is going to buy them? Centrebet want(ed) in, Sportsbet bought in perhaps to give Read support to block the Centrebet move, Paddy Power are allegedly trying to do a deal with Sportsbet, the Tas Tote is still up for sale, the Vic wagering licence is up for renewal soon... interesting times ahead.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

press clippings summary

The Australian marketplace continues to change.

You can bet on interesting times ahead for bookies

Paddy Power are going after Sportsbet by the way, not Sportingbet as mentioned in the article.

Betfair take on the Dutch govt with help from the internal markets commissioner for Europe.

EC's Charlie McCreevy threatens Dutch over 'Betfair bias'

Prosecutors are recommending jail terms for former Juventus directors in the Serie A match-fixing scandal which saw them relegated to Serie B.

Jail terms requested in Italy match-fixing case

TABCorp actually make some sense, calling for Australian govts to scrap the ridiculous state anomalies and have gambling taxes set nationally

Tabcorp wants national control of taxes on betting

Wowsers opposed to everything that might remotely be fun strike in India (to be honest, it is really cheesy)

India’s IPL hit by govt’s ‘gambling and betting’ slur

Finland asking for trouble from the EU over gambling

Finland debating online gambling advertising ban

But of course guns are ok up there...

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Gasquet busted for drugs?

Well, it might explain his erratic performances.

French star Gasquet fails drugs test

So talented, but so flawed. Oh well, won't be seeing him on the circuit for a while then....

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Thursday, 7 May 2009

College sports have their own match-fixing problems

Or should I say point-shaving, as that makes it sound cleaner? With American sports betting all being about the points spread, this does make it much, much easier to get away with manipulating a result.

Sports bribery charged in University of Toledo scandal

Also worth noting at the bottom of the article, the same two crooks faces charges for race-fixing, yet the law they are prosecuted under is 'wire fraud'. How about robbing other gamblers of a fair contest??

More on point-shaving from Xavi of OpenSports blog

While you keep gambling underground and unregulated, this stuff is bound to happen and continue to happen.

IPL reaches the halfway stage

So far there haven't been too many consistent teams - well, apart from Kolkata who are just rubbish. Flintoff and Pietersen proved to be over-priced flops (gee, who'd have thunk it?) and veterans like Gilchrist, Hayden, Kumble and Tendulkar have shown that the short game is not necessarily a young man's game.

The end-of-season pitches are showing their age and the average score has been decreasing. This week has kept the airports busy with the English and West Indian players flying out, and the Aussies about to arrive once they are finished in Dubai.

For the Cricinfo update at this stage, click here

Delhi still look the team to beat, hopefully Deccan return to form on the back of Herschelle Gibbs scoring runs. My 25/1 each-way for most runs was looking good for at least some return until his last few innings.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Might have to get into hockey...



I'd never tried trading on (ice) hockey before. There's an 8 second delay on Betfair with no market suspension when there's a goal, but on the flipside, limited liquidity means the potential margins are much better.

Thought I'd have a dabble because it was on TV while I was up late studying. Started by offering a book at about 115%, then worked a position from there. Never really had a big risk against me, the tie has to be worth laying when you have an average of five goals per game. Logic says it's highly unlikely a playoff game will trade like a 0-0 football game.

Sergei Ovechkin scored a hat-trick for the Washington Capitals, who came back from 0-1 and 1-2. I've got a new hero :)

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Kentucky Derby won by a bolter



100/1 shot wins the Grand National, now a 50/1 shot (on track, 150 or higher on Betfair) wins the Kentucky Derby. What a year for bookmakers!

Calvin Borrell let Mine That Bird drop out to a long last, the leaders went ridiculously fast and Borrell weaved his magic through the field, stuck tight to the rail, went around just one horse and streaked away by 6.75 lengths. Borrell is a genius, he weaved a similar path to win in 06 on Street Sense.

Who said pace on dirt meant everything? Pace figures are over-rated, pace maps (rating how the horses will sit in the race and how fast they will go) are much more important.

On a side note - that means a massvie rollover, over $600k for next Wednesday's Pick 6 at Churchill Downs. Start doing the form!

Friday, 1 May 2009

freedom of speech in the US? - yeah right...

Once again American politicians are showing their hypocritical attitudes to life and wanting to interfere with the lives of their citizens. Minnesota, a state famous for being freezing cold and.... um, not a lot else, are now planning to force ISPs to block all online gambling sites.

Minnesota orders block of online gambling sites


In an effort to block online gambling sites from Minnesota residents, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety Alcohol and Gaming Division (AGED) has asked 11 national and regional telephone and Internet Service Providers to prohibit Minnesota-based computers from accessing nearly 200 online gaming sites.

In an announcement made Wednesday, the AGED said written notification of this request has been served to AT&T Internet Services, Charter Communications, Comcast Cable, Direct TV, Dish Network, Embarq, Sprint/Nextel, Frontier Communications, Qwest, Verizon Wireless and Wildblue Communications on Monday.

When asked why AGED was seeking to block online gambling sites from Minnesotans, Director John Willems acknowledged that there was no great public push for this move


----

Now you might say fair enough, they're enforcing a law. If they were unilaterally opposed to gambling, then I might agree with that. But they aren't. There are 15 casinos in Minnesota. There's a racecourse in Minnesota.

Where are the bans on the illegal things that breach all public morals - terrorism, child pornography, illegal weapons? Nope, not one. This hypocrisy is about one thing, and one thing only - MONEY. They don't want tax revenue leaving the state.

The only law about online gambling in the US is the Wire Act, which outlaws sports betting, or more specifically, placing a bet across state lines via various forms of telecommunication. It does not cover casinos or poker. Only China and some of the Arab countries in the Middle East have this type of interference from government.

States have little purpose except on maps and dividing up the population for sporting teams. Allowing states to set and enforce their own (interpretations of) laws is the biggest failing of the American and Australian political system. You might as well let them all be independent countries - it's pointless!