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Showing posts from January, 2012

67 Zimbabwe football players suspended after match-fixing probe

Not sure the football world is really going to miss the 102nd-ranked team in the world being suspended. Have to have some sympathy for them, when you live in a country under a dictator like Mugabe, and almost certainly paid peanuts, what respect are you going to have for ethics? Last year I blogged about a report that Sepp Blatter and Robert Mugabe were supposedly lecturing local footballers about the evils of corruption.... pot - kettle - black!

Zimbabwe Football Players Suspended in Match Fixing Probe

The Zimbabwe Football Association has suspended at least 67 players, including most of the national team, after a probe into alleged match-fixing.

A number of Zimbabwe players told investigators they accepted money from an Asian betting syndicate to lose friendly matches during team trips to the Far East between 2007 and 2009.

Zimbabwe Football Association chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze said all players implicated in the scandal cannot play in any national team matches until …

tennis trading podcast

Some of you might have seen this already via other blogs or my Twitter acct. During the week I was honoured to be the guest pundit on the X Traders weekly podcast with @mattfinnigan. Matt is a former disciple of the Betfair Academy who I trained way back in 2006/07. Since then he has set up his own trading club - the X Traders, covering a variety of sports. On their podcasts, they regularly bring in a guest to add a different perspective about various sports. Tennis being my forte, I was invited on during the Australian Open. Lots of topics discussed - mixture of punting and trading, something for everyone hopefully. It goes for just over an hour, so find some time to listen to it, or download the podcast onto your iPod/phone to listen to on the train or something.

The X-Traders Guide Weekly Podcast featuring Scott Ferguson talking tennis

We have received plenty of positive feedback about it already, so another edition is planned later in the year.

The links I mention during the sho…

Protectionist bollocks from the ATP

Slightly old news now, but I've just found the time to write properly about this. Reports in the press last week of spectators being ejected from the Auckland tournament for 'illegal' betting, which is simply protectionist propaganda from the ATP. There is no 'illegal' betting taking place here - New Zealand has bans on foreign betting firms advertising in NZ but they certainly don't prosecute users of Betfair or Bet365 for example. The courtsiders are simply taking advantage of being ahead of the broadcast back to Europe.

Tennis: Spot-betting spectators ejected

Two spectators have been kicked out of the Heineken Open in Auckland for illegal spot-betting.

Tournament director Richard Palmer confirmed one patron had been removed on Monday at the Heineken Open and another had been evicted during last week's ASB Classic for transmitting scoring information from the stands.

The spectators were spotted in the crowd allegedly using palm-type devices to bet on s…

more Aus Open content

More material I hope you'll enjoy reading:

Tournament preview at TheShark.com.au (note these previews are Betfair-oriented, so they will be slightly different to content written for TheTote.com.au)

It's Aussie Open time which means a plethora of betting and trading opportunities on Betfair.

Match betting is the obvious choice for quick investments, but betting in-running is tricky with the Federal online ban meaning you have to ring up to trade your position. The outright markets though aren't classed as in-play until the final, so you can trade a player's outright position right through the fortnight.

MEN'S DRAW

The men's tournament comes down to the big four vs the rest, so let's take a look at how we might trade them:

1. Djokovic
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At the US Open last year, he was 1.53 against Federer in the semi, and 1.67 against Nadal in the final. Unless the draw collapses, he won't be a whole lot shorter here so if you want to back him, I don'…

Australian Open previews

Just a few hours now until the Australian Open begins. My regular previews have been going since 2000, and have found a new home - this year I am writing for The TOTE and theshark.com.au.

Snippets from women's preview:

1. Wozniacki – will be a token no.1 until she breaks that Slam duck. Trying to bring more aggression into her game but still not a patch on the free-swingers like Serena or Kvitova. Had treatment on her left wrist in loss to close buddy A.Radwanska in Sydney, and that injury can be nasty if full blown, even if it only affects her on the backhand side. Draw says Jankovic R4, Clijsters/Li QF, Azarenka/Aggie Rad SF. Odds to win the title show just how much of a token no.1 she is.

2. Kvitova – exciting leftie who is seen as the heir to the no.1 mantle: she has already won a Slam and won the end-of-year WTA Championship. Looked in fine touch at the Hopman Cup, beating Wozniacki and Bartoli despite carrying a little extra condition. That works for her on the power gam…

Centaur Group goes into administration

Last year I wrote with concern about the company setting up what may have been the world's first sports trading investment fund. Those doubts seem to have borne fruit as this week the company have gone into voluntary administration.

Here's the Betfair forum thread which includes details of the letter to clients.

Sounds like a contradictory mix of what they were trying to achieve, combined with high overheads. Why operate in a London office? Why try to train Betfair punters - I can tell you from experience that is very costly with limited return. And they came from a tipping background. Bad, bad mix. You trade or you punt. Mixing a punting mentality with highly-disciplined trading is extremely risky. A select bunch of individuals can do it. People hired off the street to make money for a fund are not going to manage it. And if you get too successful at it on Betfair, you attract the super Premium Charge. My guess is that the Premium Charge was the least of their problems...

Ladbrokes talking to Betdaq?

Curious one this - apparently it's only about technology sharing. Ladbrokes seemingly don't want to go down the same line as numerous other bookies to come up with an identical product bar the colour scheme. There's some logic in it - exchanges need to have an exceptionally quick bet-matching system, so anything that can help speed up a sportsbook's operation will have some value.

Ladbrokes in talks with billionaire Betdaq owner Dermot Desmond over 'technology' deal

Ladbrokes has started talks with Irish billionaire Dermot Desmond, the owner of the Betdaq betting exchange, over a "technology" deal to revamp the bookmaker's faltering online business.

In the latest attempt by Ladbrokes' embattled chief executive Richard Glynn to gee up its internet betting wing, the bookie is seeking to buy in pricing and trading skills of a peer-to-peer betting exchange – long seen as a main rival to traditional bookmakers.

Mr Desmond, who has a stake of about…

how to waste money on the Olympics

I absolutely love the Olympics - it is the pinnacle of the sporting world. Naturally the London Games are going to cost more than any previous Olympiad - prices rise, London is one of the most expensive cities in the world and Britain support the US in its military campaigns thus the countries becomes a target for terrorism etc. The original budget from bid time has been blown out of the water, but revised versions seem to be on the right track. Recent added expenses have been even more security to appease the Yanks (if you want to protect your athletes even further Barack, feel free to pick up the bill) and even more on the bloody ceremonies.

Much has been invested in drawing additional tourists to Britain before, during and after the Games, and so should be the case. The non-sporting public have a right to benefit from the Games too, from the improvement of infrastructure to a sharp boost to the economy. But London is already known as one of the premier arts and theatre destination…

the shambles of Sports Alive continues to unravel

The only good thing to come out of this utter schemozzle is that laws should be tightened and hopefully enforced in future. But then again, that's what was supposed to happen with the banks....

Tote chief snubs $14m claim

The liquidator of failed sports betting company Sports Alive has demanded $14 million compensation from TOTE Tasmania chief executive Craig Coleman and Victorian directors.

In a letter early this month, liquidator Hamish MacKinnon demanded the money be paid by December 14.

It is understood Mr Coleman has refused to pay and the TOTE Tasmania board has refused to discuss the situation.

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The letter alleged Mr Coleman had a conflict of interest in simultaneously being chairman of Sports Alive and chief executive of TOTE.

In a letter to all Sports Alive directors, Mr MacKinnon alleged: Sports Alive was trading while insolvent from June 2008, including the period under Mr Coleman's chairmanship. Sports Alive was in breach of the Race and Sports Betting…

Friendlies and match-fixing are a match made in heaven

Another reason why international friendlies are probably more hassle than they are worth. Clubs hate them for the injury risk, fixers love them for the less than 100% attitude of players & officials. And fans are willing to believe most results as managers experiment with tactics and formations.

Kudos as always to the whistleblowers.

Hong Kong footballer sentenced over match-fixing bid

HONG KONG: A young Hong Kong footballer has been sent to a detention centre after admitting trying to bribe his teammates to throw an international friendly against Russia, court officials said.

A magistrate's court Friday ordered Iu Wai, a 20-year-old defender for Hong Kong's under-21 side, to be held at the detention centre after he pleaded guilty to two counts of bribery, a court spokeswoman said.

Under Hong Kong law, young offenders can be sent to a detention centre for between one and six months as an alternative to prison. The length of their sentence is determined during the cou…