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Showing posts from April, 2010

Spot-fixing - you will never, ever be able to stop it

According to this report, IPL tournaments so far have been rife with spot-fixing - that is fixing minor elements of the game - runs in a single over, number of wides bowled etc.

The curious part of that article is that the Income Tax department are supposed to have found these crimes. What idiot would be stupid enough to put down 'big wad of cash handed to me by bookie' as a source of income? Backhanders for sportsmen, particularly in a celebrity- and cricket-obsessed culture like India are not rare. They could come from anything like turning up to open someone's new business (not a sponsor, but a 'friend of a friend' arrangement), to being a guest at some devoted fan's dinner party etc. The opportunities are always there, and there will always be people trying to become friends with players and their entourage - that is human nature.

This form of match-fixing (and it's not really fixing a match, just a minor element of it) is very hard to prove, but also, ve…

lay that field baby!

Must admit I don't do this on Betfair too often anymore, mostly because work gets in the way, but partly because of the late non-runners which vary your prices (meaning you can't set up a bot to pre-load them all in the morning) and also I can't be bothered taking the stats I need to 'perfect' this strategy as I am certain that different tracks and different distances will work better with varied prices.

But today I felt like a dabble on the last couple of races and I had a vague recollection of some luck at Bath a while ago.

I laid all at three prices 2.58, 1.56 and 1.15 for varying stakes. The 2.58 level I like to use on bigger fields with higher-priced favourites (fav was about 5.5 on this race). The theory behind that is laying three horses at <3 will make a profit, but ultimately the profit comes from the low price. The small trade on Riflessione was just to be able to watch the live video.

sky starting to fall in on the IPL?

Lalit Modi is copping it from all sides at the moment. Allegations of improper dealings over the awarding of new IPL franchises, investigations into whether they've paid enough tax, I had a journalist contact me about the ownership credentials of one franchise investor who has alleged ties to betting, and now comes an investigation into match-fixing.

Even Allen Stanford, the jailed financial megalomaniac who set up a megabucks competition named after himself didn't have that many bullets to dodge!

My take on the match-fixing allegations which are published here, why haven't we heard any cry of foul play from legal bookmakers? Globalisation means that even if the vast majority of action happened on the black market, it usually finds it way somehow in the licensed betting community.


Either this bloke is going to have one massive fall from grace, or there are persons out there with some very big grudges against him, which often happens if you start crossing people on your quest …

any truth in this Steven Gerrard scandal?

I was given this rumour last night and it seems to be gathering momentum by the hour. Now that others have posted it, I can avoid lawsuits by using words like alleged, and this story was sourced from the link below.....

Steven Gerrard rumours

Rumours have gathered pace this morning about Steven Gerrard allegedly (yes that's allegedly!) cheating on his wife Alex Curran with a 16 year old and getting her pregnant. To add to the sensationalism Curran herself has been (allegedly) cheating on Gerard with a Derby County player.

And as a result Gerrard will leave Liverpool in the summer for a club abroad.


If true, bookies can start rolling out England's prices - once again, an overpaid footballer with an ego the size of a small county has abused the right to be a role model...

the Storm cop it hard - bravo NRL

Well done to the NRL here for having something most sporting bodies are too afraid/too feeble to have - BALLS. Too many sporting authorities allow cheats, or clubs which are financially mismanaged to the level of incompetence or blatant cheating, to continue with barely a slap on the wrist - hardly a deterrent for any other. FIFA and the Premier League - take note.

The Melbourne Storm, the most successful NRL team of recent years have been stripped of two premierships, several minor premierships, all points for season 2010 (gained and yet to be played for) and fined heavily for systematic breaches of the NRL salary cap over several seasons. The club was caught running a second set of books - one with the 'official' contracts listed, and one with the real values. It's not the first time it has happened in the NRL, although this is the biggest breach.



Melbourne Storm stripped of two premierships for salary cap breach

Melbourne Storm have been stripped of two NRL premierships …

football high-roller service

I was recently contacted by a 'boutique' bookmaker who specialise in handling big bets, mostly on Asian Handicaps. This is not a mug high-roller service like Black's who will happily take your money, but show you the door if you turn a consistent profit. This firm, who I won't name publicly, are modern bookmakers who work the markets, hedging and trading in order to handle their client's business and not take enormous risks in the process. It can be done, just most bookies these days are run by accountants worried about the share price and can't be bothered paying for top-notch staff who are capable of dealing with sharp players. No account closures and no cutting back on bets. Min bet £1000 and they stick mostly to the major leagues, but that's always negotiable.

They have been around for a while, but have only recently taken up a UK licence. They are phone-only in order to maintain a relationship with their clients. If you are interested in being introduce…

Bwin looking at South America

Europe is saturated, it's illegal all through the Middle East, Asia goes mad for it, North America has its hypocritical legal views about gambling which bounce around for years and then get banned in late-night votes, Australia is tightly regulated and Africa is too poor, racked by civil wars/corrupt governments and lacks the infrastructure required. So what's left for a gaming giant to pursue?

South America.

Bwin plans S.American entry


VIENNA, April 13 (Reuters) - Austrian Internet bookmaker bwin Interactive Entertainment (BWIN.VI) plans a presence in up to four South American countries within the next two years, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.


Had to happen sooner or later, a massive population, improving infrastructure and a few smaller companies like BetBoo have already led the way. If there are punters down there, Bwin will find them, although the government of Argentina doesn't have a very favourable opinion of sports betting.

Punchestown begins

The jumps season goes out with a bang this week as the big Irish festival, Punchestown, runs from Tuesday to Saturday. If you've never been over for it, it is definitely worth a visit, but unless you want to be stuck in traffic for five hours per day, book your accommodation early!

Today's action is a late starter at 15:40, and has three big Grade 1 races on the card - the Champion Novice Hurdle, Champion Chase and Champion Novice Chase. Like Aintree and Cheltenham, don't try to peak too early - it's a long festival.

For those who like laying the field on Betfair, it has been known to work well at Punchestown, but it depends how low you go with that lay price. There's usually at least one 1.01 that gets rolled for the week.

same old scratched record from Hills

In a week where the SPs for the Grand National were the highest for 20 yrs, and when politicians are talking about forcing tax-dodging bookmakers to pay their share to racing, William Hill chief executive Ralph Topping is rolling out the same tired old argument about layers on Betfair. Has he ever tried laying horses at several points above the SP? It's not a very profitable practice, and the select few who made it work have probably have given up due to the premium charge.

Hills and Ladbrokes have moved their online operations offshore for no other reason than to dodge tax and levy - and yet they have the gaul to say Betfair don't pay enough tax? Tax dodgers trying to dob in another firm who they think doesn't pay enough tax....

How about forcing these alleged bookmakers to lay a decent bet to all customers and to get rid of those thieving FOBTs? The compulsion to lay a bet may sound like pie in the sky but there are moves afoot in Australian state government to force bookm…

float, float, float, float.....

Betfair have hired a Morgan Stanley director as head of strategy as the IPO gets closer. For them, the best thing that can happen this year is a World Cup with all the favourites winning, bookies taking a hiding and Betfair just laughing all the way to the bank. But can they have all the prospectus documents ready in time for a float this year, if they wait that long? This isn't the first float-related hire they've had, they have been making them since 2005 and the media still haven't tired of predicting when it will happen. Just get it over with....

Betfair IPO moves closer with Morgan Stanley director hire

Sportingbet are stepping up to the London Stock Exchange (LSE) from the Alternative Index Market (AIM) next month, a move showing they really have graduated to mixing it with the big boys. Their financial reports are quite interesting. Unlike the British retail bookies who were moaning about all the favourites winning and no draws in the early part of the Premier League…

has women's tennis had it's first 'Davydenko' moment?

A rather suspicious WTA match in Charleston, USA, tonight, where Victoria Azarenka retired hurt mid-match. Was it fixed? Was it just punters with information? Does the WTA policy on compelling players to play a certain number of lower-level events and penalising them for withdrawing bring this on?

Quotes from Tennisform, a site which runs an excellent injury and information ticker (subscription required).


17:58 Azarenka has drifted pre-match to 1.31 from 1.07 [125k traded]. EDIT: Azarenka went off at 1.43, with 168k traded, and continued to drift out to 1.65 before a ball was struck.

19:47 McHale advanced when Azarenka decided to quit with a thigh injury early in the second set. The Belarus drifted alarmingly prior to the match, and continued to drift throughout the match, and despite building a 6/2 *2/1 lead, she was still considered the underdog on Betfair, where the betting patterns were not unlike the infamous Davydenko/Vassallo match in Sopot. (Radio commentaries) "Azarenka …

video refereeing isn't difficult

After the debacle of the FA Cup semi-final at Wembley yesterday - Chelsea should have had two men sent off, John Terry's tackle on James Milner was a leg-breaker, but the referee could be described in no other terms as gutless. No balls whatsoever, can't send off a Chelsea player in a Cup semi...

John Inverdale wrote a great piece in the Evening Standard on Friday about how (field) hockey has introduced video replays in its elite club competition which concluded over Easter. It's not hard, it's quick, takes the pressure off the central referee and removes the effect of blatant bias or basic incompetence... or even the occasions they are genuinely unsighted. Hockey hasn't got it perfect just yet - only one challenge per match is a bit silly, especially if you get your challenge upheld, and in a game of rolling substitutions, only allowing the captain to call for it doesn't work as well as it could. But it does improve the game a lot.

Football - the 'beautiful&…

French gaming bills passes

So the French National Assembly have passed the online gambling bill with the remaining procedures before it is implemented merely a formality. But what is actually going to achieve for French punters and foreign companies?

It will be slow progress. Those French punters already playing with offshore firms will continue to bet where they do, simply because they will be able to get a better deal. Firms obtaining a French licence may be able to advertise locally, but if the proposed level of taxation and possible sports levies are passed, then firms will have to pass that cost onto consumers. If they don't, it will be a major cost against their bottom line. Firms such as Ladbrokes and William Hill are expected to take a patient approach, expecting the regulations to gradually become more competitive, as is the case in Italy.

Companies entering the French market will not be allowed to cover horse racing, one of the most attractive parts of the French betting market, due to government p…

$3.5m for a 2yo race - good or bad?

The supposedly sacred day of Good Friday to me just means an extra day to do the form for Saturday, and for Australian racing, this year it's the Golden Slipper, the richest 2yo race in the world. Worth $3.5m in total (equates to £2.11m or US$3.2m), it is open to all-comers, the best of this two-year-old crop. To put that in perspective, the entire Cheltenham festival was worth £3.4m in 2010.

Held at Rosehill Gardens in western Sydney, the race suits Sydney's impatient 'I want it now' and 'News today, fish and chips wrapping tomorrow' style of living. Allowing a horse to develop for a career as a mature racehorse, perhaps over distance, rarely happens. So the Australian breeding industry has changed significantly. Everything is now about juvenile racing, but specifically up to a mile, rather than a Derby distance which is more than norm north of the equator.

I'm not against sprinting, although I do prefer longer races, it's the heavy workload placed on 2y…