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Showing posts from December, 2011

a possible answer

A possible technical explanation via BetAngel.

I remember several years ago when the site crashed when the bet ID reached an overflow number - worryingly, it was a customer who picked it up rather than any of the techie brains trust. Slightly different here being on the stake, a figure which is input by customers, and concerning too. Best theory I've heard of why it happened. And by christ there are some bloody stupid ones out there!

the verdict - never going to be anything other than void

Now that we've all had a little time to sit back and think about what happened at Betfair today, here's why I think it was entirely the right decision for them to void all bets. I did not have a financial interest in the race, and like it says up in the top corner, I am an ex-Betfair employee - but I hope neither have any bearing on my position on this.

The punter's biggest lament with bookies is when they cry 'palpable error'. Having worked both sides of the counter, on the whole, I don't have a problem with this rule - when there is no doubt an error has been made, by whatever reason. Do unto others as they would have do unto you. I have no sympathy at all for punters bitching and moaning on forums when they identified an obvious mistake with a bookmaker, and tried to put their life savings on it. Those guys have the moral code of John Terry or Ryan Giggs, and some might say the gene pool would be better off without them. When it does hit very thin ice is wh…

All bets void

No great surprise from Betfair, will analyse further later...
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless device

It's all gone Pete Tong at Betfair!

The Christmas Hurdle from Leopardstown, a good Grade 2 race during the holiday period. But now it will go into history as the race which brought Betfair down.



Over £21m at odds of 29 available on Voler La Vedette in-running - that's a potential liability of over £500m.

You might think that's a bit suspicious, something's fishy, especially with the horse starting at a Betfair SP of 2.96. Well, this wasn't a horse being stopped by a jockey either - the bloody horse won!



Look at what was matched at 29. Split that in half and multiply by 28 for the actual liability for the layer(s). (Matched amounts always shown as double the backers' stake, never counts the layers' risk).

There's no way a Betfair client would have £600m+ in their account. Maybe £20 or even £50m from the massive syndicates who regard(ed) Betfair as safer than any bank, but not £600m. So the error has to be something technical. However, rumour has it, a helpdesk reply (not gospel, naturally)…

Bravo Italia

I am enjoying the arrests and ongoing investigations into Italian football matchfixing - it has been a long time coming, and for a country so entrenched in corruption, organised crime and simple acceptance of both, it has been heart-warming to see they are finally getting the message. If Italy really wants to be regarded as one of the premier football nations of the world, then it's time it cleaned up its act. Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni has admitted betting on fixed matches, only because it was his team set up to win. He is one of 16 players to have been arrested just before Christmas.

But the best gesture of the week goes to Italian national team coach, Cesare Prandelli. He will reward the player who blew the whistle on match-fixing, Gubbio defender Simone Farina, with an invitation to train with the national team. Prandelli is intent on improving the image of Italian football, suspending any player from the national team who has been disciplined for unsportsmanlike …

additions to Idiots of the Year awards

How could I forget some of the bozo government bodies who allegedly police the industry for the protection of punters?

Jobsworths of the Year

Three-way tied effort between the ACT Gaming and Racing Commission, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and the racing stewards of Western Australia.

The ACT Gaming and Racing Commission awarded a sports and racing betting licence to SportsAlive, and under the terms of the licence, were supposed to monitor them very tightly, to ensure the protection of punters. This blatantly did not occur and like a typically useless government department, they have washed their hands of any blame. As an accountholder of the now defunct bookie, I have received a list of creditors of the company - it is long and ugly. There's sweet FA hope of the serious punters receiving any more than a few cents in the dollar (another bookie has picked up the tab for the little accounts, obviously hoping to pick up a lot of fish on the cheap). Since very few of the firm…

Idiots of the year awards

Following on from earlier in the week....

Corrupt Bastard of the Year: It can only go to Sepp Blatter.

When faced with allegations of corruption, what do you do?
1. Get the accuser, and main rival, kicked out of FIFA because he is either as rotten to the core, or the only one who isn't, so therefore he must be removed.

2. Sacrifice an entire region (CONMEBOL) because they hold little power and blood must be shed, despite them only following the examples of their peers. CONCACAF is seemingly several times more corrupt but they hold far more power in FIFA voting ranks.


3. Hold an election where the ballot paper has only one name on it. Not even Kim Jong-Il (RIP) was vain enough to do that.

4. Go to the most corrupt country in the world, Zimbabwe, and lecture players about the evils of match-fixing and how any players caught being involved in corruption should be severely punished.

5. Blame every allegation against you on being a fabrication of the British media, who bear a h…

my awards of the year

Felt like writing some end of year material, and what better way than some made-up awards. I fear this might turn into a few posts and genres, so I'll start with the ones for sporting excellence, before I move onto ranting about numpties and corruption.

Awards of the year:

Sports:
Athletics - Sally Pearson. Outstanding season, acknowledged as the fastest non-juiced women's hurdler in history. Absolute perfection when she won the world title in Daegu. Other nominations - Yohan Blake for winning the men's 100m, albeit without Usain Bolt. He will be a contender in London. Anyone else?
Brickbats to anyone who thought refunding all money bet on Bolt (a 1.05 shot) and taking deductions out of other runners would be a good idea - clueless.

Biathlon - Magdalena Neuner. She's stunning, world champion, German sportswoman of the year again and she will retire at the end of this season aged 25. Huge loss to the sport.
Other nominations: Tarjei Boe, the latest Norwegian superstar in t…

match-fixing in the news in Italy again

No great surprise here, although you'd think the games in question could have been a little more obvious. The three Serie A games listed didn't involve draws which traded at 1.55 on Thursday!


Match-fixing arrests reach 17 in Italy

CREMONA, Italy -- Former Atalanta captain Cristiano Doni and 16 other people have been arrested across Italy in an ongoing investigation into soccer match-fixing and illegal betting.

The inquiry is focused on several matches in Serie B over the past two seasons, with Atalanta involved in three matches. Three Serie A matches from last season are also under investigation: Brescia vs. Bari, Brescia vs. Lecce and Napoli vs. Sampdoria.

"This is not the end, but just a starting point," Cremona prosecutor Roberto Di Martino said Monday. "Let's hope it's a starting point in cleaning up the beautiful game that is football. One of the suspects has admitted that these operations have been going on for over 10 years.

"At the top of t…

blast from the past: The Betfair Academy

Well after the eventful interview in yesterday's post, I thought it was time to share the last piece of Betfair training material I'd been hanging onto. It's been three years since I left now and the company haven't done anything with it, so it shouldn't be left sitting in my archives any longer.

The Betfair Academy was a training course I devised with the help of a couple of others. Its aim was to create Betfair trainers rather than more advanced punters but it works just as well for both. There were plenty of guys who enrolled in the course just to improve their trading. The vast majority of Betfair users will find something of use in there, even if it's just a keyboard shortcut or an extra trading strategy they'd never considered. The trading techniques aren't necessarily profitable, they are there to make you think about what else you can do on an exchange, rather than just simple backs and lays.

Here's the link - Betfair Academy handbook - it&#…

in the press this week...

I've been pretty popular this week - first being probed by France24 over the Dinamo Zagreb - Lyon match

read it here (best to use Google Translate unless you are fluent in French)

and then asked by another blogger, Tennis Sultan, for a full interview re my time and thoughts on Betfair. If you like controversy and my preference of not holding back, then you'll enjoy it

read it here


Hong Kong International Vase assessment

Local runners have a poor record in this race - understandable as they don't really do distance racing - with just two placegetters in the last 10 editions. I think Thumbs Up is pretty exciting, but the rest of them have no hope.

Runners:

Trailblazer: top run in the Japan Cup, finishing 4th and 2.5L behind the mighty mare Buena Vista. He was ahead of Arc winner Danedream and one his main rivals today, Sarah Lynx. Drawn ideally, still a 4yo with steadily improving ratings - he is right in contention for this.

Jakkalberry: wins Group races in Italy, comes up short when he visits the UK. Came fifth in this race last year, can't see him doing any better this time.

Silver Pond: finished midfield in the Arc de Triomphe when he drew the outside and had no alternative but to go back to last. Good form around Bekhabad and Sarafina before that and drawn ideally. French horses have a n exceptional record in this race (8 wins in 17yrs).

Campanologist: won his last two starts, claiming …

Hong Kong International Mile assessment

The locals have an impeccable record in this race - winning seven of the last 10 runnings, with two wins from Japan, and one from UAE/Godolphin. Apart from two French placegetters last year, it's not much different on the lower steps of the 'podium'. Best form race is The Cathay Pacific Jockey Club Mile from three weeks ago, here's the result and replay.

Cityscape: Highest-rated horse in the field yet he hasn't won a G1. That rating was achieved in running third to Canford Cliffs and Goldikova at Royal Ascot, and again in a G3 at St Cloud, beating a field who, apart from one runner, I've never heard of. Not convinced on him.

Jimmy Choux: New Zealand's superstar who looked to have the Cox Plate won until Pinker Pinker emerged after the softest run you'd ever find. Then ran a close 4th in the G1 Emirates Stakes (handicap), carrying 58kg giving away at least 4kg to all the placegetters. Boxed on his own at the racetrack, so he's been given a mirro to …

Hong Kong International Day races

They bill it as the World Turf Championships, and while the standard is pretty good, I think that's a little bit rich this year. But, despite not having a Black Caviar or Frankel on the card, it's still a great day of racing. I intend to hit the big four races heavily on the exotics so will run through the runners in the big four races like I did for the Melbourne Cup later this evening. That's if my five-week old son will let me do some form study and typing tonight!


Tune in again tomorrow.....

Betfair getting ready for California launch

With the law permitting exchange-base wagering on horse racing taking effect in May 2012, Betfair/TVG are getting everything ready to go. Coming up this week is the first public test of the model at an annual racing industry event.

TVG Betfair to Demonstrate Exchange-Bet Model

A test model of the first exchange wagering system proposed for the United States will be demonstrated at the University of Arizona Symposium on Racing & Gaming in Tucson beginning Dec. 6.

The system, developed by TVG Betfair, is a “first stage application,” the company said Dec. 5. The racing network TVG is based in California and owned by Great Britain-based Betfair, which operates the largest exchange wagering platform in the world.

... ...

A recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle said TVG Betfair is proposing a 10% commission, two-thirds of which would go to racing and one-third to Betfair. Racetracks, horsemen, and others would then split the two-thirds according to regulations and contracts.



Tattsbet buys the TOTE

Tasmania's wagering service, the TOTE, has been sold this week to Tattsbet, which currently runs the state TABs of Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. The TOTE holds the exclusive off-course betting rights in Tasmania, namely betting shops and hotel outlets plus racecourse operations. They also supply all the Australian tote betting services to Betfair, and are currently linked into the SuperTAB pools for selected markets, something which will surely change.

TOTE sold to Tatts group

TOTE Tasmania has been sold to Tattsbet Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tatts Group Limited. Premier Lara Giddings made the announcement at a hastily convened press conference at Hobart Airport this afternoon before leaving the state for the national Labor Conference.

TOTE was sold for approximately $103 million.