Thursday, 30 July 2009

would you like some sauce on those feet Peter?

A publicly-listed company CEO is responsible to his or her shareholders and the board. Peter V'Landys, head of Racing NSW, leads a government-backed organisation and has no such issues with accountability. If he was out in the public sector, he'd been out of a job long, long ago.

What an absolute goose. He has gone public on the Racing NSW website commenting about a letter from leading NSW bookmaker Robbie Waterhouse, just before the Racing NSW vs Betfair and Sportsbet case over race fields legislation and the inappropriate turnover-based fee goes to court. Rule 1 of legal cases - don't comment in the public domain just before the case is heard. You risk putting the judge offside by making dangerous assumptions, give the opposition chance to react and risk being held in contempt of court.

Take a look at Bill Saunders' article - Racing NSW Rattled

Never has someone so powerful had so little clue about the law or anti-monopoly regulations and glossed over the facts that the organizations he is supporting are just as guilty in the rebuttal points he makes.

- he alleges that journalists supporting corporate bookies are on the take from such bookies.

How about, these journos are sick of being screwed by a corporate giant which overcharges, seeks to control the industry at the detriment of everyone else including controlling all media channels to the extent that newspaper editors reject much of the anti-TAB comment for fear of losing the advertising contract from TABCorp and UniTAB?

- he says that punters need to fund the cost of racing in NSW.

Considering that the AJC/STC merger, currently being rejected by crusty old members, is reported to save anything up to $22m per year and the ridiculous amount of money that V'Landys is personally wasting in the courts fighting impossible cases, I suggest very few punters in NSW would be willing to agree with that in their current state of management! Punters should be supporting the industry, but they should also have appropriate strong leadership not endless pissing money up against a wall.

Imagine if he lived in the real world...

Cangamble delves into the history books to find that way back in the 1930s, 10% takeout in tote pools was deemed to be excessive and governments were lobbying for less! Remind me why it is we automatically think we are smarter now than ever before?

the rain dilemma


The third Ashes Test begins later today at Edgbaston. The outfield is sodden from days of heavy rain inthe Midlands. The draw price has been crunched down to 1.74 with more rain expected throughout the match. But does the prospect of wet weather also bring more wickets as the ball moves around more? If the water can be dispersed from the outfield and play start close to 11am, a reasonable day by the forecast could see a complete innings gone. And if that happens, the draw will no longer be odds-on.

Rain at Edgbaston all right for some

Last time at Edgbaston, the Aussies lost McGrath on the morning of the match and it cost them dearly. The two Tests we lost were the ones McGrath wasn't fit for. Will KP have a similar effect on the Poms? An England batting line-up with Bopara and Bell doesn't scare anyone. Mind you, the way Johnson is bowling, he's not exactly putting fear into anyone either. Though apparently he's patched up his differences with his mum over some ridiculous Mum v WAG argument...

This will be a key toss to win. Ponting hasn't had any luck on that front yet, and he won't want to make the same mistake as 2005, putting England in and watching them score 400 in a day!

Not expecting any changes to the Aus XI, no matter how deserved they might be. I'll be laying that draw and cheering the Aussies.

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Sportingbet sell Italian operation

In a small article in yesterday's Racing Post, it was announced that Sportingbet have given up on their attempt to break into the Italian market and sold the operation to the local management team. The Italian government opened up sports betting on their terms to foreign operators a couple of years ago, and it has been very slow progress for the new entrants - as if often the case with business in Italy! I believe they aren't the first firm to pack and go home either. It's all about who you know in Italian business and government...

Sunday, 26 July 2009

World Swimming Championships gets serious from today


Gotta love the swimming. It is a bonanza sport for punters if you do your homework. Bookies tend to pay too much attention to form from heats and semis, and also to local biases (Aussie swimmers shorter in Aus, Brits in Britain etc).

The suits debacle threatens to take a bit of gloss off the meet, but once they're in the water and racing, you can ignore most of the hype.

Tonight's schedule starts off with the 400m freestyle events for both men and women. Both favourites are vulnerable, I'd rather be laying at odds-on than backing.

Friday, 24 July 2009

McCririck proving again that he's a clueless dick

First race at Ascot today, the favourite in the 2yo race plays up at the gates, sweats up but eventually goes in. It drifts from 2.0 (evens) to 2.62 (13/8) on Betfair in the last couple of minutes, gets beaten and then John McCririck on ATR proclaims someone knew! Of course they bloody did, they were watching TV unlike the mindless buffoon! He then goes onto blame Sean Boyce for interviewing the jockey who didn't give the most positive tip for the horse, but that was shown well before the race. The drift would barely have happen with bookies simply because everyone has left the ring by the time the horses get to the stalls. Betfair don't stop until the finish post. Betfair once paid him to be an ambassador of the company for racing promotions, despite the fact the guy couldn't recognise a computer if it was sat in front of him.

Eccentric, egotistical and clueless.

TABCorp supporting harness racing in Australia


As much as I like to criticise crusty old monopolies who can't handle the concept of competition, I must give kudos to TABCorp for putting their money behind harness racing in Australia. It's how I first got into betting and I still enjoy watching it, even from afar. TABCorp have bought the naming rights sponsorship for the two new state-of-the-art harness racing tracks in Melton, just outside Melbourne, and Menangle, just outside Sydney.

TABCorp throws its might behind Menangle Park in new deal

Now, maybe if they pulled their finger out and streamed the pictures online to those who can't see Sky Racing, they'd have a great chance of extending their audience even further.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

FA hand out soft penalties in match fixing case

The FA, or more correctly, "an independent FA regulatory commission" have handed out pathetically soft penalties against four players involved in betting on a match they were in. This is about as close to organised match-fixing as it gets.

Four banned for betting on game

Disciplinary chiefs have expressed "serious concerns" that a Football League match may have been fixed after four players were banned for between five months and a year for betting on the outcome.

The four players have been suspended and fined after betting on the outcome of the League Two match between Accrington and Bury on May 3 2008 - three of the players were with Stanley at the time and the other at Bury, who won the game 2-0.

Jay Harris has been banned for a year and fined a total of £5,500 by an independent FA regulatory commission, David Mannix has been given a 10-month ban and fined £4,000, and Robert Williams suspended for eight months and fined £3,500. Andrew Mangan, who was then a Bury player, has been banned for five months and fined £2,000 for betting on his team to win.


Here's my post about this scandal from several months ago.

No sympathy for these blokes, they should have been kicked out of the sport forever. You don't play League 2 football and suddenly spend a month's wages on a bet just because you fancy it. Players can be out injured for longer than these piss-poor suspensions. So they might lose their livelihood? They should have considered that in the first place!!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Istomin and Crivoi in more fishy matches


Last week against Crivoi in Bastad, he turned up injured and put in little effort. Now the same thing is happening again in Indianapolis, against an even weaker player in Kevin Kim. Kim backed from 2.34 down as low as 1.10. I dare say bookies won't be covering his first-round matches for much longer...

Crivoi vs Brands also looked very fishy today. The market went sharply against Crivoi in the hour before play started (1.74 to 2.24), then after winning the first set and going a break up in the second, he was still only marginal favourite (1.9). But, he had traded as low as 1.3, which suggests injury was involved. There were a couple of long breaks between activity on the scoreboard which suggests treatment from the physio - but, as commented by a colleague, that would be part of the script anyway if the match was arranged. Brands wins 4-6 6-4 6-1, not a surprising result on the cold form, but the betting movements were much different.

The ATP could have something serious on their hands if they don't act fast, that's four suspicious matches in a week.

UPDATE: Istomin v Kim match just plain odd. Istomin favourite at 4-4 in the second set despite losing the first. Serving at 3-3 in the final set, he is matched as low at 1.15. Based on pre-match prices before the heavy betting game in, that's still odd. Is the match fixed or are there just people with a hell of a lot money influencing the market AS IF it's fixed....???

why gambling is often called a tax on the uneducated

Fools and their money are soon parted. Seriously, if these are your parents, don't expect to have any inheritance left....

Couple loses despite backing every greyhound

Sheffield dogs last week had a £100k jackpot running for picking the winning dogs in six consecutive races. With only six dogs per race in the UK, there are 46,656 combinations for the bet, so they brought a shopping bag full of cash for a £1 unit on every combination. Easy money apparently...

Mr & Mrs Brainiac failed to consider the options of the favourites winning each leg, or other syndicates getting involved and sharing the pool. Three tickets won it, their return was just over £33k, a net loss of £13k. This also shows how bad the takeout is on this pool - the pool 'went backwards' from its overnight total of £101,110 because of the deductions - which should have been taken out before the amount was publicised.....

Aussies to make history at Lord's?

Can it be done? Can Australia really chase down 521 in the fourth innings to win at Lord's? Well, if the skies stay blue and the pitch is benign, we have to be a chance with Clarke and Haddin in fine form. But, one wicket goes early and that all goes out the window. There's a big difference between the tail hanging around to be annoying and the tail wagging to create history.

The Aussies are down to 5/2 (3.5) on Betfair at the moment, can't help thinking that is mighty short considering there are no recognised batsmen left in the pavilion and there are still over 200 runs left to get....

Friday, 17 July 2009

HANA pool party tonight at Mountaineer Park



The Horseplayers Association of North America are staging another of their Pool Parties tonight. The idea of this concept is to promote specific races so their members and racing fans who want to see a better deal for punters can show the weight of their money. Let's face it, a boycott is never going to work, there are too many punters who will bet on anything.

Tonight's race is Mountaineer Park Race 2, which runs at around 00.25 UK time. Use UK bookmakers who bet directly into the pools so your bets will count - for free formsheets, visit here

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Open Championship

Lots of great offers from bookmakers around for the ultimate test in golf, The Open Championship. Boylesports paying EIGHT places each-way at 1/4 the odds, Sportsbet Australia paying money back if your player misses the cut, and numerous more.

The market is remarkable - on Betfair it's Tiger at 3.5, and next best is Lee Westwood at 30, with 10 players in all between 30 and 50. So essentially, it comes to one question - do you back Tiger or lay him? I've got to oppose him on this track. His form has been good since his return from injury but not invincible, and there's a quality chasing pack.

My glory story of trading occurred in this evnt back in 2003 when I backed a handful of players at big prices on the first morning. One of them was Ben Curtis at 1000 for £5. Only expecting him to stay on the leaderboard for a few hours on day one, I traded out at 550, then some more at 210 and then finally at 1.7 on the final day for a lovely green book.

This year, Tiger at 3.5 represents 28.57% of the market. If he suddenly starts with a shocker and blows out to 10, his % share of the market decreases to 10%, meaning that difference (18.57%) has to be redistributed amongst the rest of the field. The market will weaken a bit (105% out to 125% or so while play is underway, overnight is when it will tighten up each day) and other players have to trade shorter - in fact when the market is weaker is when they are more likely to trade short - as there will be gaps between prices - eg back 100, lay 140.

Good luck with your trading.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

another match going off today




Oscar Hernandez v Janko Tipsarevic in Stuttgart today. Pick the injured player. Actually, that's not quite so easy, as Hernandez with injured with a minor thigh muscle tear last week in Schenevingen, but Tipsarevic has something seriously wrong with him here.

Tipsarevic was injured at Wimbledon but has since played (poorly) in German Bundesliga, a pro club tennis event, and pulled out of the doubles the last time he played in that (July 5).

For the best live injury and betting news, subscribe to the tennis ticker on Tennisform.

Monday, 13 July 2009

and this week's suspicious tennis match is....

Crivoi vs Istomin in Bastad, Sweden!

Victor Crivoi, a journeyman from Romania was backed from 1.81 into 1.06 on Betfair before the match, and the 2-0 sets betting from 2.74 to as low as 1.09. Denis Istomin had retired at Wimbledon with a back injury and it appears as if he wasn't fit to be resuming on the tour. You can't blame the bloke for trying when points and prizemoney is at stake, but obviously people knew he wasn't ready to play.

Every cynic is gonig to jump on this and scream fix. Personally I'd rather give the benefit of the doubt to the player, making every attempt to play despite not being fit. We've all seen footballers in various codes take the field when they shouldn't have. Men are stubborn beasts, and we will try to play through pain, especially when money, and in this case, ranking points (he'd get neither and probably a fine if he pulled out and was replaced by a lucky loser) are at stake. His ranking of 68 means he gets into some ATP events in the main draw, but has to qualify for many others, or play challengers, like he has for most of his career, often competing in challenger finals for as much as the R1 or R2 loser's cheque here. He turned up, hoped to be fit and pride got the better of him. Or sheer stubbornness because it had already cost him a bundle to get here so he might as well cover his expenses. You can't hide as an injured player in an individual sport.

Let me stress this is just a personal opinion, and if this is discovered to be a crooked match, then throw the book at him. But I just can't stand forumites who instantly declare a match has to be fixed simply because a major plunge was landed. An understanding of psychology and human emotion makes it much more complicated than that....

Friday, 10 July 2009

Bwin to bid for Newcastle?

I thought Bwin had become a billion-pound business by making shrewd business decisions - I doubt buying Newcastle United FC would ever fit into that category!

Austrian firm Bwin makes Toon takeover enquiry

It's one thing sponsoring successful clubs like AC Milan and Real Madrid, but owning an under-performing money-guzzler like Newcastle? And how would the Football League look at a club being owned by a betting firm?

journalists with no clue or credibility

24yo French tennis player Mathieu Montcourt was found dead this week, on the day he was to begin his five-week suspension for betting on tennis. The poor bloke wagered a grand sum of $192 across 36 matches - three bucks on each game, back in 2005 - yet was hammered with a way out-of-proportion $12,000 fine and five-week suspension. Yet according to the Metro, he's a match-fixer.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

BT issues still prevalent

Not much time to update the blog at the moment with continuing BT and house move issues, plus I was in Cardiff for the opening day of the Ashes with the Fanatics. It should be a great series to trade, with hopefully the right result at the end.

Meanswhile back in Australia, Racing NSW are still convinced they can win the unwinnable court case. Bill Saunders from the Virtual Formguide details how badly deluded they are in NSW racing circles...

The Dogs want their bone

The AJC should blame Tabcorp

Meanwhile the Australian Racing Board chairman shows who butters his bread by showing how far out of touch he is with reality too

Bentley hits back at Gai's call

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Wimbledon finals

Sorry for not posting for the last couple of days, didn't have a lot to say and have been moving house and suffering with the incompetence of BT re house moves...

In my outright tips, I took the unoriginal angle of backing Venus and Federer, and I'm sticking by them. The match prices are very close to how I marked them so I don't see any point in hedging (which should always be a value proposition), but that's an individual decision.

I rarely like to get involved in betting/trading on finals because the markets are usually correct and I prefer to watch and enjoy the great matches rather than fuss about my position. During last year's men's final, I just closed out at the end of the first set and sat back and watched one of the greatest matches of all time.

Good luck with your bets.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Wimbledon - men's quarters

After all the favourites winning today in the women's quarters, there's a big poosibility of this happening again tomorrow.

Hewitt has done a great job to get this far but he's got a massive test ahead of him. Once upon a time, Lleyton owned Roddick. but those days are long gone. A-Rod has won four in a row, including both matches this year, so the ledger now stands at 6-5 to the Aussie. I'll get lynched by my mates in the Fanatics who are queueing up overnight to be courtside again, but I struggle to see him getting any further. Roddick has been in tremendous form this year while all the attention has been on Federer, Murray or Nadal. Larry Stefanki has him in his best form for several years. Roddick 3-1.

Tommy Haas is in his best form for years and beat Djokovic just a few weeks ago in the Halle final (grass). His serve-volley game is working a treat and the relaxed veteran's attitude is working wonders. Djokovic has looked good in the last couple of rds, he's hitting the ball far better than that match in Germany. I think he wins, but not in straight.

Karlovic is blasting everyone off the court and if all the planets are in alignment, he could do that to Federer as well. Poor old Verdasco has one of the best serves on the tour and a solid returning game, but he couldn't conjure up a single break pt in 23 Karlovic service games in the last round. Federer should be too classy, but knows full well that against someone like Karlovic, he might only get one chance to get a look at a break point.

I didn't think Murray was at his best under the roof the other night, but he got there. Ferrero is playing his best ever tennis on grass, but I doubt that can stop the great British hope.

Roddick 3-1
Djokovic 3-1
Federer 3-1
Murray 3-0

I'll also lay Federer for a trade and insurance against my outrights bet.