Sunday, September 25, 2011

Back Down To Earth

Well it was always going to be a struggle after England v India finished, but going straight from a summer of Tests and ODIs into the craziness of the Champions League T20 (basically spin off of the IPL really) has been fairly difficult to start with. Its starting to pick up now over the weekend but I was all over the place in the earlier games, I suppose its a bit like going from trading 3M chases to trading 5F sprints.

I've been stitched right up by the Sky planner for live cricket too, I've been getting nagged to paint the house since June, but managed to push it back to now(ish), asking for the England v India to finish which made sense all things considered. So, I look at the Sky planner, it says no cricket until the 13th of October, I think GREAT, I get to look good now devoting three weeks. Completely forgot about the Champions League on Eurosport, and now I'm committed to the redecorating theres no stopping it once in full flow, head in hands..

Hopefully its not too much of a distraction because theres games every day in the CL, head in hands again, what have I got myself into..

I think my desk and TV are being moved, added to the room painted, so I'm planning to keep trades under €200ish liability or thereabouts until were finished. I still recall the last time the house was all up in a heap when the cat was sick for the two weeks, I lost €800+ which was one of my worst runs ever - I'm keen not to do anything daft, its easy to lose once you take your eye off the ball, and instead of checking Betfair I'm checking wall colour charts.. (again with the head in hands there, yep).

Anyway, not much good press for Betfair this week, I know they dont get any good press really these days, but these two stories arent nice to hear, especially them taking £52k out from an account - and the second one, noting that their user base has dropped 19%.

Betfair 'removed £52,000 from customer's account'
A Betfair punter is threatening legal action against the betting exchange after a dispute over more than £52,000 that he claims has been removed from his account.

Sandip Sayaniya, who aired his grievance outside the company's annual meeting on Thursday, claimed he was not the only customer involved in a row over "premium charges".

Betfair initially deducted 20pc of gross profits from successful punters gambling in more than 250 betting markets. In July, such charges were raised to 40pc to 60pc for customers who have won more than £250,000.

Mr Sayaniya alleges he has bet in less than 250 markets and made a £24,000 profit. However, he claims that on September 5 his account was suspended "under investigation of Premium Charge avoidance". On September 20 he received an email from Betfair's "pricing team" stating his account shared a similar betting strategy with four others, all of which would be taken into consideration for the charges. Betfair deducted all £52,352.85 in his account.

Mr Sayaniya, who plans to start legal action by next Thursday if the money is not repaid, said: "I do not recognise any of the other four accounts named by Betfair, and have never operated any account other than my own."

A Betfair spokesman said: "We thoroughly investigated this matter and we determined that the customer was evading payment of the required fees." He added that Betfair's legal department was happy to "discuss it with him further".


The news that Betfair founder and chairman Edward Wray could be the next senior manager to leave the embattled online gambling firm, will be met with raised eyebrows among investors.

The FTSE 250 business, which allows gamblers to bet against each other rather than against a traditional bookmaker, is already looking for a new chief executive after David Yu said in June he would move on when a successor is found.

But at yesterday’s annual meeting Wray, a former JP Morgan trader who co-founded the business ten years ago, said the firm had ‘started the search for a deputy chairman. The intention is for this person to take over from me as chairman at an appropriate time in the future’. This follows a spate of other senior executives who have also left the business in recent months.

And while all this has gone on investors have seen Betfair’s stock almost halve since it floated last October at £13, with a value of £1.3billion. Betfair yesterday closed down 60p at 723p, valuing it at £839million. The business has faced a number of disappointments and delays as it has tried to push its services into a host of European countries, such as Germany, Denmark, Italy and Spain.

And in August the UK government revealed online gaming companies based offshore would need a domestic licence to take bets from British customers. Betfair moved its headquarters to Gibraltar in March to save around £20million a year.

These constraints on growth are beginning to affect the business, at the start of this month the firm turned in first-quarter core sales down 7pc to £80.8million, with the number of active customers down 19 per cent to 381,000.

For Betfair the wider economic climate is tough, and the regulatory issues it faces are protracted. Investors will want to see a settled management quickly in place, who can then set about getting the share price moving in the right direction again.


One small point I picked up on too - I was always under the impression there was more users than 381,000.. not because I had any facts to back it up or anything, just because it always feels "busy" and you cant make mistakes at all without being cut at the throat. Maybe the 381,000 are just addicted gamblers like me though..! Sure were a great bunch of lads.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Amazing Scenes

Well, what a weekend.

I was up until the early hours last night to watch Mayweather, that didnt disappoint! I think the interview was almost better than the fight though.. "I wish I was 50 years younger and I'd kick your ass..!" Banter.

As for the KO, well you know 'defend yourself at all times,' thats boxing. I think it was a real 50/50 in terms of that Ortiz was looking at the ref, but you know youre in a fight why is he staring at the ref and not have at least half an eye on Mayweather. I can defend the KO punch Mayweather threw, but no one can defend the headbutt from Ortiz, that was a disgrace, awful stuff. I thought Ortiz came across as a bit daft last night really, for starters why didnt he at least try to bring his hands up after the first punch - Floyd hit him and he was still looking at the ref, and afterwards Mayweather said if he wants a rematch he can have one - why was he stood there in his interview grinning like an eejit (after getting knocked out!) and didnt mention a rematch once, he got paid 20 times more for this fight than his second biggest pay day. No idea why him, and more so his team, didnt jump on the rematch comment straight away. But anyway, lets be honest Mayweather was winning the fight (I dont usually back the 1.2s but backed 1.29 between the 2nd and the 3rd) and IMO he would have knocked him out in the later rounds anyway, same outcome different story really.

Anyway, thats not quite as amazing scenes as Dublin becoming All Ireland Champions today, how Kerry lost it from being 4pts up with less than 10 minutes to go is anyones guess but credit to Dublin. Extremely difficult market to trade with confidence towards the end, draw traded odds on for a moment too, I made a bit of a balls of it really having backed Dublin - but that tends to happen when you back something at 2.4ish and then have to watch them go out to 12, before coming back. I really dislike the bandwagon fans (there were plenty today) but that 15/8 bet before the semi final eases that. Thats it for another year then, I dont bet on the GAA leagues.

India finished their tour of England on Friday too. Really, really, REALLY sad to see them leave, what a great series in terms of winning and trading. I was crowing about not getting my biggest ever ODI win for the blog last week with the tie, its like buses, I got it this week.. and thankfully this time it wasnt a tie!

Its been almost weird - the absolute confidence in England winning, I've never had that before, especially over such a long period of time. Often times you know, strongly on something and its a max bet and very confident, but it almost goes beyond confidence its like "they'll win.." and even when India trade sub 1.3 (theyve nearly hit 1.3 every limited over game) youre still sitting there going "Well, England will win.." Obviously its all over now though and I have to find another way of making money, and go back to normal, being thousands green on every game is definitely not normal, whatever about a couple of hundred. England travel to India shortly for an ODI series, it'll be interesting to see how the market prices it up, obviously conditions will be completely different, England will probably be lucky to win two games or so out there.

And what about poor Fernando Torres..

Whats the difference between Fernando Torres and Wayne Bridge? John Terry appreciates Wayne Bridges missus.

Speaking of which, watched Fast Five this week, its alright, The Rock is in it, its on Sky Box Office atm, but theres a girl in it called Gal Gadot - never heard of her before, didnt think anyone could beat Irina Shayk, but shes an amazingly good looking woman.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Well, just back from Milanos for dinner and about to watch Strike Back Project Dawn on the couch (both highly recommended!), I'm a bit happier now after the tie this evening, that was sore, very sore..

(That would have been the biggest ODI win on the blog too.)

BUT, anyway, no one died, I didnt lose and life goes on. What can you do sure, no point complaining about something I cant change. Missing out on upwards of €2k in the space of two weeks on ties isnt great craic, not at all, but its just one of those things really. Complaining about something I have no control over would be a form of insanity and more importantly a waste of time.

I might be a little bit more fed up if it wasnt such a good week.. the ODIs have presented awesome opportunities with India going odds on and then England winning. I've been backing England all summer so that series of events will always work out perfectly for me, and its good to have competitive games. India getting on the plane to go home will be a sad, sad day.

All my ODI books, Test books, have been exactly the same all summer really.

I see the Hunky Dory ads are back this time going for GAA instead of Rugby, it really is a seriously clever tactic in Ireland, huge amount of time for it given the money it makes effectively using negative people to give it coverage, apparently the ads have "sparked fury," but in actual fact the people complaining against them has given them nationwide coverage at a percentage of the advertising cost. I was reading that during the last campaign 300 odd people complained - and Hunky Dorys added 1.5 million in value to the company, very good for an Irish company not even number one in its own market. Its such great business. I'm full sure the people talking about it dont realise theyre just doing exactly what Hunky Dorys want them to do but anyway.

Sunday, September 4, 2011


Fairly quiet week this week, we had the end of the T20 competition last weekend and today (even though I wasnt trading it because of the All Ireland) we had the semi finals of the 40 over competition, so that'll be that for having cricket on every day for the winter months.

Theres only one GAA game left this summer too with the hurling finishing up today, was delighted to see Kilkenny win, best team won dont think anyone could argue that. Luckily the boxing season started back on Sky on Saturday night, so that should somewhat replace GAA and at least hopefully chip in for the winter, liquidity wasnt great towards the start, but you can only make do with whats given, hopefully it'll pick up a bit over the next few weekends.

Speaking of boxing, if you love 24/7 as much as me you can watch the first one of Mayweather v Ortiz here. That Ortiz story is amazing when you think about it, the two boys raising themselves with nothing, but on the other hand, what sort of parents abandons children so young FFS..! And Mayweather is still, well, Mayweather. Although I do think the fight with the father at the end was a bit put on for the cameras, one thing that caught my eye was how many times Ortiz has been put on the floor in his last few fights, Mayweather by knockout is 9/4, no bookie has it that I can get on with and Betfair dont have that market up, but I thought it'd be shorter just from watching it.. I watched 24/7 before looking at the markets. No point having a bet before seeing the four 24/7s for more insight into the camps anyway.

The cricket was a bit lifeless this week, as I said just really have internationals now to go off, yesterdays ODI was voided because of rain, cant really make up my mind if I was happy or sad with it, but my book was like this at the time anyway:

And to follow on from the T20 ties last week, I said I'd want 60/1+ before thinking of covering it, the highest price matched was 55s on Eng v India. Its only a matter of opinion really but I'm happy to not cover it indefinitely, dont want to pass judgment because each to their own but those people backing 11 and 13 (a good bit out from the finish too) are just throwing money away long term. If you could lay 10/1 on a 60/1 shot every game you'd be laughing, the problem is finding someone to back 10/1 every game, as its a hit and miss low liquidity market all things considered.

I stayed in bed and missed all the low odds lays on the draw in Sri Lanka too, pure laziness, 5-30AM is a horrible time though in fairness. I'll have to snap out of that sharpish to keep things ticking for the winter, the worst thing about that is getting up I nearly feel obliged to take a position, which is a terrible way of thinking in test cricket.. theres no way of solving that problem though. Its not like an Eng Test where you'd be watching it even without a position, so can easily pick and choose moments, but getting up at 5-30 to "wait and see how things go" is pretty hard to do for five days in a row..!