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Showing posts from June, 2009

Victorian racing industry booming - because they negotiated with bookies and Betfair

Some Australian states and other racing jurisdictions around the world are going backwards because of the pig-headed stubbornness of crusty old farts in charge of racing. Faction fighting over exclusive TV rights, trying to protect the totes from outside competition via unconstitutional laws or anti-competitive product fees etc. Victoria opened itself up to corporate bookmakers and Betfair betting on their high-quality racing with product fees based on profits rather than turnover (like every other business in the world), and suddenly a flood of money is coming in. This previously untapped resource is now bringing in the bucks and the same companies are investing plenty to sponsor races throughout the state.

Racing Victoria details growth

Meanwhile in NSW, head muppet Peter V'Landys is bleeding the state's racing industry dry, taking the corporate bookmakers and Betfair on in court, in a case he simply cannot win, based on any reasonable understanding of business law in the 21st…

Wimbledon day 9 activity

Four women's quarter-finals and none particularly straightforward.

Safina was in trouble against Mauresmo, a player with more mental strength would have finished her off, but it wasn't to be. Lisicki is flying, based on a big serve and heavy groundstrokes. But this is the same style as Safina which puts the German teen at a disadvantage. She won't be able to outhit the Russian, she needs to be able to mix it up a bit to frustrate her.

Venus is the strongest favourite of the day against Radwanska but I think she's a silly price. Radwanska is an exceptionally smart player, varying her style to best suit the matchup. The h2h stands 3-1 in favour of Venus, but I think she's worth a small lay at the odds. Make up your own mind whether you want to trade it or not. If you read my outright previews, you'll know I'm on Venus for the title, so it's a little bit of insurance for me.

Azarenka beat a wounded Serena in Miami but also had her on toast in Melbourne back i…

spectacular action at Gloucester Park

A lot of folks don't like harness racing but it's how I first got into betting with my mum taking me along to the local track most summer Saturday nights back in Australia when I was a boy.

Take a look at this clip from a race last week at Gloucester Park in Perth, Western Australia. Complete carnage! If you've ever watched cricket on TV from the WACA in Perth, this is the track right next to the stadium.

All horses and drivers (not riders as mentioned at the end of the clip) got out of it with no more than minor bumps and scratches.

News of the World caught out by deluded 'Betfair millionaire'

Not sure if you had time to catch this 'article' which was linked from my news feed yesterday. News of the World claimed to interview a high-roller by the name of Elliott Short, who boasted of winning millions on Betfair. It sounded like a glory-seeking tosser making ludicrous claims, and it turns out it probably was....

The guy claimed to have been made redundant as a £22k per year city trader, then turned his hand to Betfair and was making millions. He boasted of laying the favourite, hoping the second fav would win - but if that lost, he'd also make money too. And he was winning up to £1.5 million at a time.... the Betfair market can't absorb that even in a championship race unless you drip feed it in over at least an hour.

Betfair's response:

We have been contacted by several customers in relation to an article in Sunday’s News of the World. We would like to make it clear that Betfair was not asked to comment on, or validate any aspect of, the article ahead of pub…

day 8 action at Wimbledon

Great result on Saturday courtesy of Lisicki, unfortunately the two men didn't offer a squeak. Onto Monday...

Teenage American qualifier Oudin has come from a set down in all three rds so far, which shows a great deal of determniation, a trait often lacking on the women's tour. I'm yet to catch any of her matches live so I'll be making a point of doing so tomorrow. Radwanska played a defensive game against Li, just hitting soft shots back and watching the Chinese player self-destruct. Just a watch match for me, but I'll probably lay Radwanska if she goes a set up purely on the Oudin resilience factor.

Azarenka has dropped just five points on first serve in two and a half matches. Incredible stat. She faces Petrova who beat her here in two breakers last yr. The Russian needs to play a lot better than she did against Dulko, but you know she can from her earlier rounds.

Ivanovic showed her best form in months against Stosur, if she lived up to that form, she could stretc…

day 6 action at SW19

Another good day with plenty of volatility to lock in profits in the two matches highlighted yesterday.

Stosur played a shocker against Malek, did everything she could to lose it but the German wasn't good enough to close it out. If she playes that badly again, she'll get hammered, no matter how bad Ivanovic plays. On her French Open form, she should win this. Ivanovic was much better in the second rd as she was in R1. Tough one to call, with probably be a trader's delight with ebbs and flows throughout.

Davydenko holds an 8-0 h2h record over Berdych, yet he is odds-against?? The Czech has a lot of hype about him, particularly on grass, but usually under-delivers. Nikolay isn't the fav of most punters, but he is doing well and proceeding under the radar so far. Those h2hs usually turn around at some stage, at least once, but hopefully not here.

Hanescu has been serving brilliantly and has a few more weapons than Simon, who has troublesome knees and is going for his shots …

Wimbledon day 5 activity

Far better result yesterday with two good winners and a couple of matches that were at least tradeable in-running. Let's see how we can go for Friday.

Cibulkova and Zvonareva both retired in doubles on Thursday due to injury - they're both due to play R3 matches on Friday. Watch the prices drift accordingly.

Dulko will find it hard to back up after knocking off Sharapova, but she does hold a 2-2 record against the heavy-hitting Petrova.

Bartoli is in awesome form and loves grass, but Schiavone leads the h2h 3-1, and all matches have gone to three sets.

Laying Bartoli and Petrova to trade out in-running, I think both of those matches will be tight.

Wimbledon day 4 activity

Let's try posting a bit earlier today...

There may be a tad of bias here being Australian, but I think Hewitt is a live chance against del Potro today. I've never been a huge fan of his to be honest, but I marked del Potro only a slight fav - he has to be a lay at 1.45. Lleyton's last five losses here have been to Federer (x3), Djokovic and Baghdatis (the year he made the semis). He loves Wimbledon and will make sure he keeps the ball low, making it tough for the 6'6" Argentine to get a rhythm.

Baltacha is favourite in a match at Wimbledon. I don't care who she's playing, that has to be a lay! Flipkens isn't great, but nor is she hopeless.

Gonzalez has complained of knee soreness and plays a very promising kid in Leo Mayer. I've seen him live a couple of times in recent weeks and have been very impressed with his game. Lay the 1.25 for two units, with one unit traded back at 1.5 or so in-running.

Cuevas beat Rochus in five, not a great achievement, but…

day 3 action

Sorry, running a bit late today...

Razzano reported feeling very tired after last week before R1 match against a girl who could barely move. Craybas will run her around.

Bolelli retired in a doubles match yesterday, has to be a query to finish the match against Tsonga.

Darcis had an unbelievable winners/errors ratio in R1 - 44/6, winning more than 50% of the pts when Dancevic came to the net. Karlovic usually doesn't last too long here, if Darcis can get a racquet on a few serves and get them back at his toes, he 's a big chance at odds.

Zvonareva was really struggling to move against Stoop in R1. Her ankle problem won't go away one day later, but her opponent isn't much good though.

Spadea is no champ, but knows how to be annoying with slices, chip-charge etc. Andreev could easily get frustrated quickly with him.

Schiavone won well against Wozniak R1 but don't underestimat the teenage screamer Larcher de Brito.

Main bet for the day is Darcis, also laid Sugiyama (already …

Wimbledon day 2 action

Another day without any real inspiration, but a few favourites with queries over them...

Dokic - wins this easily if fit, unfortunately that's half the battle for her.

Hanescu have come in for steady support against Navarro. He doesn't have much of a game for grass and the Spaniard did play well at Rosmalen last week, but we saw several players (Dancevic, Tanasugarn, Wickmayer) with great form from last week crumble yesterday.

Kvitova hasn't done much on grass before but has good results indoors and on carpet. Kirilenko just ain't much good away from clay, 1-6 here. Kvitova first-up after ankle injury though.

Sevastova came through qualifying well and I've been following her progress closely all year. She has bit of a future I think and the Bondarenko sisters are incredibly inconsistent.

Voegele is a handy player and faces Venus Williams on centre court. Struggle to see her winning, but Venus often has a bit of a wobble in R1. Games handicap or to win first set might b…

Wimbledon Day 1 - bring it on

As posted earlier, my outright previews are available, check Friday's post for the links.

Match comments:

Not overly confident about any match today so make of these what you will...

Almagro has a bigger power game than Monaco, so should be better suited to grass of the two claycourters.

Garcia Lopez is ridiculously short for a battle of two Latinos, but Calleri has had enough of tennis, expected to retire soon. The £12k R1 loser's cheque will pay for a few things in retirement.

Karantantcheva was destined for stardom before she got done for steroids (at the age of 15!). Looked very strong in qualifying from all reports, could go a few rds here although Kleybanova goes well on grass.

Mannarino is a French leftie who prefers fast indoor courts. Should go ok here, but Gicquel is an ironman for stamina, loves winning in five sets.

Kulikova has been dogged by injury and illness for a few yrs. She's only 20 and is highly rated by Russian tennis folk. Sprem has won two ITF titles indoo…

Russian football faces match-fixing scandal

Goal.com reports details of an alleged fixed match last weekend in Russia.

Russian football rocked by match-fixing scandal

On Wednesday, Russia Today reported that the Russian Football Union was investigating claims of match fixing, following suspicious betting patterns during Terek Grozny's 3-2 win against Krylia Sovetov last Saturday.

...

RIA Novosti said that Russian sports media reported before the game that one individual had staked $400,000 on a Terek win on the Betfair internet betting exchange.

Furthermore, despite Krylia being eight places above 10th-placed Terek before the match, some 96 per cent of bets placed were on a home victory. After the news broke, a number of bookmakers stopped taking bets on Terek taking all three points and odds for a home victory dropped rapidly with other bookies.

Russian football has often been plagued by rumours of fixed matches, with Terek's 2004 Russian Cup final triumph over, ironically, Krylia, alleged to have been bought for $6 million.…

truth in advertising

Noticed all the advertising from bookmakers lately about "Best Price Guaranteed"? What a load of rubbish.

There are only two points of comparison - when you place your bet, and the SP. So linguistically it's wrong, as it can only the better of two, not best. But more importantly, what happens if the odds go

2/1 (your bet)
5/2
9/4 (SP)?

Do you get the 'best odds' then? No, you'd get paid at SP. It's a Starting Price guarantee, nothing more. True 'best odds' is what the Aussies call 'Top Fluc' - the best official price recored in the betting ring. The Advertising Standards Authority should pull Paddy Power, William Hill and any other bookmaker trying it on, up on this - it's just another attempt by bookies to pull the wool over punters' eyes.

dodgy match alert!!

Host a really weak tournament on the tennis circuit's least-favoured surface the week before a Grand Slam, have players enter who have never won match on grass and what do you get? Oscar Hernandez is a decent claycourter rarely able to win on any other surface, Daniel Koellerer is a headcase who swears at his opponents, the umpire, line judges, spectators. Something is up here.

This market movement has all happened in the past couple of hours. These two have a history - take a look at this clip and see how 'friendly' they are to each other!



The ATP supervisor watched this match very closely. Koellerer made it look like he was trying early, had break points against the Spaniard's serve in the first set, got out to about 1.61 and then went according to the script, I mean went to water under the pressure....

Racing NSW case gets weaker, whining gets louder

Nothing new here, just more of the same acts of desperation from Peter V'landys and TABCorp.

Copyright is wrong strategy - Bill Saunders

Betfair, Racing NSW still at loggerheads

Betfair punts on revenue in NSW racing row

When I was teaching people how to use Betfair more effectively, sometimes you would just have to throw your hands up in despair when people couldn't work out for themselves that their strategy was completely flawed or they wouldn't learn from their mistakes. I once had a guy who thought it was a great idea to lay a horse at about 30, then if it looked like winning, back it back at 3. He couldn't work out why he'd lost about £50k....

In business, if you put all your eggs in one basket, ignore all the advice from educated people in the field and piss ridiculous amounts of money up the wall, you should be held accountable for it. But as per usual in a government-appointed racing body, it won't happen...

when management and selectors simply won't learn

I did say last week that I gave Australia little chance of winning the World T20 tournament, however I did expect them to put up a better fight in the group stage. And it does take a little bit of value out of my tickets to the double-header at Lord's on Friday :(

We've just come off an IPL series where only six bowlers played 10 matches or more and avergaed less than a run per ball. What was the common denominator? They (Murali, Duminy, Harbhajan, Kumble, Karthik, Raina) are all slow bowlers, and half of them are part-timers. Spin bowlers averaged 1.5 runs less per over than pacemen in the 2009 IPL.

So what was Australia's tactic? Bowl fast, bowl fast, bowl fast. Blind Freddie could tell you that slow bowling in the middle overs of a 50 over game slows momentum. In T20, it makes the batsman work harder. No dinky lobs over fine leg, no flailing the bat knowing a thick edge will go for four, make them earn their runs.

Brett Lee - possibly the most over-rated player in cricket…

perhaps the greatest cricket match of all time..

Maybe not, but definitely one of the funniest ever results :D

Netherlands defeated England in the opening match of the World T20 tournament.. and just to disappoint the home crowd even more, they won it off the final ball.

Pure gold!

Gordon Brown is toast

I don't get into political betting much but after my last success with the Gordon Brown's speech and doing an MBA at the moment, perhaps I should. With the work and pensions secretary James Purnell resigning tonight, a leadership challenge is imminent. When that was announced as breaking news on the 10pm BBC News, the market for Brown Exit in June collapsed - shown in the circled area below.



If you have any idea who the new Home or Foreign Secretary might be (politicalbetting is reporting that Milliband may resign tomorrow as well), then the Betfair markets are wide open at the moment.

Aussies send Symonds home for the last time

This has to be the end of his career. So much talent, such an arrogant tool with little regard for his teammates.

Aussies send Andrew Symonds home

After a blip last summer Down Under mostly due to a plethora of injuries to the strike bowlers, the Australian team are back in business. There are plenty of Aussies keen to give blood for their country instead of continually stuff up every chance given to them.

Not too fussed if the Aussies win the T20 anyway, the Ashes are a far bigger prize.

World T20 preview

I'd love to write one myself but haven't the time, so here's the rub from the Punting Ace expert 'Mr Cricket'.

World T20 preview

Not sure who will win it, but would be extremely surprised if either Australia or England holds the trophy - the Ashes is a far bigger priority.

Paddy Power and Sportsbet to buy out IAS

Paddy Power haven't taken long to put their stamp on the Australian market. Just a couple of weeks after buying 51% of the Matthew Tripp-owned Sportsbet, they have now launched a bid to takeover Mark Read's IASBet. Read's company have been on the market for months, most recently with a hostile takeover bid rejected from Centrebet. 'Chopper' is getting old and wants to enjoy his later years rather than watching his sons piss all his money up against the wall, which isn't as far-fetched as it seems.

The IAS board have approved the deal of 60c per share (last traded at 50c, and was trading at half that price at the start of the year) and unaminously recommend it to all shareholders.

Read the IAS announcement to the ASX here

The Australian wagering landscape is changing rapidly and Paddy Power have well and truly gotten the jump on any of their UK/Irish counterparts.

Betfair to ditch lemon of a poker site

In 2005, Betfair chose to leave Cryptologic after a plethora of problems and go it alone, by acquiring Danish company Pokerchamps. After spending squillions on marketing and development, yet only coming up 17th in the poker room rankings according to one leading site last year, they've finally bitten the bullet and decided to sack it. There's little point signing up big name players if they can't play on your site because there just aren't the cash games that can't handle their business.

So Betfair is now heading to Playtech is this story is to be believed.

Playtech to sign up Betfair for Poker, Casino, Bingo

Changing casino means Chartwell lose out and most probably, the Zero Lounge, the unique Betfair feature Bert Black insisted on if Betfair were going to sell their soul and profit directly from customers, will be scrapped as well.

I'm surprised Bingo has taken so long to get off the ground at Betfair Towers - they've really been left behind on this one. Onc…

finally Wallace is going! Who will be next head on the chopping block?

Hallelujah, the king of spin Terry Wallace is leaving Richmond Football Club (AFL) having wasted 4.5 years of the club's time and money, not to mention the emotional rollercoaster of die-hard fans like me. Sure, it's not all the coach's fault, but he's the one permanently putting the PR spin on how everything is improving, it's all looking much better and our players are committed, yada yada yada, while glossing over severe skills and attitude deficiencies which have seen the mighty Tigers really struggle this season.

Betfair won't be allowed to run a book on the Next Permanent Richmond Coach market unfortunately, as part of their deal with the AFL. The new appointment won't be done overnight, they have three months to go with a caretaker in place for the rest of this season. Not sure if any of the NT bookies will offer it, the AFL likes to control which markets they can offer and block any which may have insider dealings.

Who will be next for the poisoned ch…