30.04.2017

Fair play, as punting weeks go, its been utterly shite.

Not that huge amounts have been lost, more the fact that bets that should have won somehow lost, bets you placed the week before won the week after and ante-post cricket bets that promised so much have been destroyed thanks to David Warner this afternoon.

Let’s go back to the end of the previous entry. 33/1 man Alex Levy was looking set to not just place in Shenzhen, but also make a run for the title as he hit the back nine Sunday. Literally as I pressed submit to update this blog, he bogeyed the par five that everyone was making eagle/birdie on and somehow ended up playing the remaining six holes in level par to finish T8. Alongside him in the same position was 60/1 hope Thorbjorn Olesen who of course birdied all the holes that Levy needed to do to also miss a place by a shot.

These two joined Paul Peterson (T7, 150/1) Brandon Stone (T7, 100/1) as others to narrowly miss out on EW payouts this year. When you throw in Trevor Fisher Jnr only sharing a 100/1 FRLdar bet with Keith Horne (who finished birdie birdie) plus Oli Fisher FRLdar (T2, 200/1) as well as David Lipsky (80/1) losing out to only Fabrizio Zanotti (somehow) in Malaysia, you can see why golf betting can be the most infuriating of all to punt on.

Oh and the fact that I backed Wang in Dubai the week before his Qatar win at 100/1 and Levy the week before his win today, its an absolute mystery how the ROI is still in the green what with all these narrow misses!

And as for the cricket, despite a 4/1 win on Pakistan in the First Test, profits have also dropped ever so slightly. First of all Nottinghamshire posted over 280 in their 50 overs, a more than competitive total. Then came the rain and Worcestershire only needed 160 odd off 22 overs thanks to Duckworth Lewis. What a load of bollocks.

The next morning saw another level stake placed on Surrey at 4/5 v Somerset. Chasing nearly 300, Somerset found themselves dead and buried at 22/5. Off I set for home on Friday PM for the dreaded commute along with the rest of the Midlands, two hours later I finally got home to see Roloef van Der Merwe had hit 150 odd not out, and Somerset had somehow won (with ease) More known for his bowling that batting, it was his highest ever one day score and a record 6th wicket partnership that fucked me over.

Then this afternoon David Warner ended the Dhawan top IPL run bet courtesy of a century. Dhawan lost the strike early to his opening partner and was eventually run out for 29 (some 97 runs less than Warner)

Worse things happen at sea as they say (our little girl was admitted to hospital Monday night – thankfully all appears fine – thank fuck) but it’s safe to say I feel due a bit of a break. It won’t be coming any time soon with the golf betting as this Golf Sixes event next week is about as appealing as a kick in the bollocks.

Golf ROI – +12.88%

Cricket ROI – +17.56%

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23.04.2017

Holy shit, another month has passed since I last updated this blog. A nasty cliché if ever there was one, but quite where 2017 is going, I’m not too sure.

We’ve just come back from five nights in Portugal, which was our first overseas trip as a family in over a year. Bearing in mind this blog was set-up to document the many trips/travels/holidays I used to take with all my disposable income, you’ll appreciate that the elongated gap since we came back from Thailand last March has felt a bloody long time.

In all honesty its been a hard year. Quitting my old, cushy job was a risk (especially with a young family to feed and house) and falling into a career that I’m really enjoying (but involves a lot of driving) has been a right bonus, but a break from work was very much needed.

Anyway, this page is about punting so lets get on with it.

Despite six days in the Algarve where I only had two bets – the missus and little one were fast asleep – I’ve still managed to have a busy, successful month on the cricket. 29 bets have placed, mainly on T20 cricket, and ROI has for 2017 has crept up to nearly 20%. Naturally I’m bloody delighted with this, but I was in a similar position in 2016 at this stage last year before getting greedy and messing up as autumn/winter kicked in and I started chasing losses. A long way to go, and I’m certainly winning some tight bets, but stakes have been kept to level and discipline is staying excellent.

The main wins have come from in play match result bets. Staying away from side markets like over/under runs where possible, especially those pesky 5/6 odds which historically, put bluntly, I’ve always been utterly shit at calling right. By upping the stake this year and targeting shorter odds such as 2/5, 1/3 etc, there is some room for manoeuvre if your side losses a wicket/gets hit for a six moments after placing the bet.
I’m always choosing the right times to place these bets. Take yesterday for instance, I took Mumbai under 200 at 2/5 (they ended up on 142 and the bet was never in doubt) I choose to place the bet when Jos Buttler was off strike, meaning a boundary was significantly less likely to come with his partner Parthiv Patel on strike. Sounds a simple thing, but small decisions like that can impact both the short term and long term success of the bet.

To get the ROI up you need more than 2/5 winners though. Recent highlights include –

– India winning the 4th Test v Australia at 10/11
– Mendis top bat v SL at 4/1
– Pakistan winning a T20 and an ODI v West Indies at 11/10 and Evens
– 7/8 IPL match and run bets winning with odds ranging from 13/8 – 1/3
– Buttler top bat in play at 9/2

I’ve also got one ante-post IPL top run grabber still in the mix, Shikhar Dhawan at 33/1 EW (top 4) £15.00 (all bookie would allow me) He’s sat inside the top 5 right now and about 50 off the lead, his opening partner David Warner. Whilst I’m not entirely convinced he is playing dynamically enough to win outright, he has a great chance of returning EW profits if he stays fit and Sunrisers qualify for the final stages.

That said there’s still half the group games to go so a lot can change. IPL drags on and on and on and on……..

Since the 100/1 Marc Leishman bet landed I’ve had a big fat zero return on the golf. The Masters was a total damp squib after Rickie Fowler collapsed in a big heap over the weekend at Augusta. Thankfully I was on £40 win only at 28/ and his chances were dashed early on Sunday. Thank fuck I wasn’t on Sky Bets generous 8 places EW as he failed to even place having been only a shot or so off the lead with 16 holes to play.
Currently up early on Sunday to watch the conclusion of the Shenzhen event in China.

I’m on Levy at 33/1 EW and Olesen 60/1 EW. The Dane looks to be falling short, with Levy sat two shots back and a birdie putt incoming at 12.

What could possibly go wrong?*

Good luck with your bets and thanks for reading.

*Updated five minutes later after Levy misses birdie putt and drives into the jungle at 12 on the par 5. FML.

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25.03.2017

A whole month has passed since the last update and for anyone that gives a shit, for that I apologise. Usual stuff – not enough hours in the day – plus a busy month at work which included over 1,000 miles driven in the last five days on customer visits and the twice-weekly 170 mile round trip to the office. I guess they need to check I’m still earning my crust from time-to-time and they pay me more than I could ever earn in Hereford, so its all good.

Down to the punting.

Last time I scribbled some thoughts down I’d gone on a decent run on the cricket, but the golf had been a little disappointing, especially with the near Lipsky miss. Paul Peterson finished a shot outside the places in Joburg, having led the event after R1 at 150/1, with not a penny on FRL. In my defence the tournament is held over two courses and I believe only one or two books offered the FRL market, and even then both were launched late on Wednesday after a rain affected qualifying event saw the tee times and final field released much later than usual.

A poor week in Mexico for my picks was followed by a laughable Indian Open in which the official European Tour website released a card of the course measuring over 7.600 yards. Naturally every tipster and book ruled out all the short hitters, and it turned out the course was actually playing around 7,200 yards! SPP Chawrasia, who hits his driver about 270 yards, somehow ran clear of the field as all the biffers and bashers were left way down the leaderboard. My best was Aphibarnrat who struggled to a T20-something – I don’t think I’ve ever backed a golfer more than Kiradech for zero return over the years – highly annoying week.

With the European Tour taking a much needed rest the week after (presumingly to spend some time updating card-of-course yardage books of upcoming events) it was a rare foray into the PGA Tour for me to ensure something to plan my week against.

Five picks, all between 100/1 and 300/1 meant the week could be described as ‘hopeful’ as opposed confident. Still, it was nice to have a punt on the Arnold Palmer event, and watch a bit of the tournament on TV after putting the little one to bed.

One of those picks was 100/1 man Marc Leishman who hung around the leaderboard all week, playing the par 5s particularly well. As I put Mila to bed on Sunday after her bath, I refreshed shot tracker which told me he’d gone for the green successfully in two on the 16th. Running downstairs I stole the remote off the missus and joked ‘watch him three bloody putt and miss a place’ (in fairness I was on top 7, so he was always placing even if he made just a par) What happened was one of those great moments, as Leishman’s eagle putt tracked straight into the middle of the cup!

One up, two holes to play!

As Kisner and Hoffman made a mess of the same par 5, Rory three putted his way out of contention and my boy Leishman scrambled brilliantly for pars on his last two holes. A quick £10 cover on Kisner at 55/1 and I could relax. Over £900 profit for the week secured moments later as muted celebrations unfolded (never wake a sleeping baby/toddler etc)

Just the second golf winner I’ve had since Willett last February…..

As for the cricket, that’s been very good too. I’ve placed 38 bets since the last update, so it has been a busy time. Profit has been around £300 in this period with the following highlights –

– India v Australia finished Day 3, Session 3 @ 16/1
– Bangladesh beating Sri Lanka in the 2nd Test @ 13/2
– Mehedi Hasan over 95.5 pts winning twice @ 5/6
– Bangladesh beating Sri Lanka in the 1st ODI @ 13/10
– New Zealand v South Africa draw @ ¼

That last one was free money. Thanks to following a few randoms through the #NZvSA in Dunedin, it was clear there wasn’t going to be any play on day 5 to force a result for either team. All other books were around 1/10 – 1/20 so it was worth an investment of (for me) significant proportions around an hour before play started. When the unnamed bookies traders woke up half an hour later, they suspended the market, opening up again with the draw at 1/50! £100 profit for literally nothing.

There have been some annoying losses, notably Mohammad Nabi going wicketless in the first ODI v Ireland. 4/9 looked a steal given he’d taken a wicket in all his last 13 ODIs! Even today the Mushy Rahim cashpoint has let me down for £63 as he only managed one run and no catches/stumpings! Still the above 13/10 win on his Bangladeshi side has ensured profit for the day.

So it’s the Masters next week, then the day after we are off on a family break to the Algarve. Going to be nice to get away whilst hopefully still riding a punting high. Writing off this weeks Challenge Tour as a loss (even though Matt Baldwin has a sniff of an 80/1 place) I head into Augusta 58% up on the golf ROI and 14% up on the cricket. Needless to say if that is the case through the year, I’ll be thrilled.

Happy punting……

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20.02.2017

Towards the end of the last update I left you news on four winning cricket bets in a row.
Incredibly this turned into eleven wins in a row; even if five of these were odds on punts.

A 2017 deficit of £117.06 was turned into a profit of £412.08 courtesy of a run that peaked during the eleventh and final winning bet that was Aaron Finch top scoring for Australia in a t20 defeat at 7/2. Sadly the winning streak ended there as I also had Finch’s winnings already staked on the Convicts at 2/5 pre-match.

Posting 167, all was looking rosy with an early wicket. After all, Sri Lanka had only ever chased that total or more once before in their history of t20I’s. Fast forward post work meeting and I was surprised to see the Aussie second string fail to defend the total, losing the match off the last ball.
The golden winning streak was over and what was to follow over the next few days summed up the close margins that see so many turn to trading (if only there was time) –
Match one:
Bet – Australia to win 2/5
Outcome: Lost off the last ball
Match two:
Bet – Titans to win 4/11
Outcome: Lost in the final (50th) over after Dolphins smashed 16 an over for the last 5 overs.
Match three:
Bet – Barbados over runs 5/6
Outcome: Lost by 2 runs after the morons lost 4 wickets for 6 runs in the 49th and 50th over of the innings.
Match four:
Bet – New Zealand to win 11/2
Outcome: Lost with 2 balls left. Failed to defend 22 off the last 2 overs and 11 off the last 5 balls.
I know the original statement of, “You can’t win them all!” can be inserted here, but to lose four bets in a row like this when all four punts were placed some hours before the finale would knock the confidence of even the most knowledgeable punter.
Still, two wins on the Pakistani Super League match last night between Karachi and Peshawar has reinstalled faith and profit on the cricket stands at 14.7% ROI which if maintained over the year will be more than pleasing given the sometimes volatile nature of the beast!
Final note to finish on – I’m convinced a real gap in the market here is betting on domestic cricket matches – in particular 50 over and First Class matches. The prices of Wellington and Barbados this week in two of their matches were just plain wrong, and it is as if traders are pricing up matches pre-match from the strongest possible squad as opposed strongest available squad. Also on boundary lines, this has been way out for a number of Windies Regional 50 over games.
As the English season starts in April, I’ll be looking hard at these markets in particular!

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14.02.2017

You’ll have to forgive the lack of updates recently. Real life is getting in the way somewhat at present, however despite the lack of written updates of late, it has still been a busy time on the punting front.

Let’s start with the positive – currently sat in profit on both cricket and golf for 2017.

Let’s continue with the negative – it should be so much more greener on the golf.

80/1 shot David Lipsky led by two shots with just five holes to play at last weekends Maybank Championship in Malaysia. On him £9.00 EW, he started his final round just three back of Masters champ (in case you’d forgot) Danny Willett and was soon trading at odds on having made birdie at 10, 11, 12 & 13. His playing partners (Masters champ) Willett (don’t forget his green jacket now) and Alex Levy were slipping backwards and all appeared rosy as my man was racing towards his second European Tour title and £918.00 towards our families (much needed) holiday fund.

Before I knew it 5am had turned into 6am and Fabrizio Zanotti decided to play holes 13-17 in three under par. Worse was to follow as he hit his second on the par five 18th to ten feet. I still felt strangely confident he would miss, and my lad Lipsky would still birdie the last to win out by a shot. Oh no. Zanotti got a cracking read to his putt from Mike Lorenzo-Vera and the sod only went and made eagle. Lipsky made a great birdie on 17 but failed to better par on the last having made a mess of a greenside bunker shot, leaving the same putt Zanottti had, only problem was he didn’t have the luxury of a perfect read from his playing partner.

I had toyed with backing Zanotti at 4/6 when Lipsky was on the 18th fairway, but backed my instinct which has been successful/profitable in the past which told me the worst I would get was a playoff. Then there’d be scope to hedge my bets somewhat, playing with the £700+ a Lipsky win would ensure.

Anyway, a second place and a T5 for 80/1 man Li Haotong meant over £210 profit was made on the event. This was a vast improvement on two blank weeks in Qatar and Dubai previously.

I missed Jeunghun Wang by a week – backing him at 125/1 and 110/1 in Abu Dhabi before he won the week after in Qatar – cheers for that. Then Brandon Stone missed a 100/1 (20/1) place by a shot in Dubai. To complete my premature tipulation I had backed Marc Warren at 100/1 to be FRLdar in Dubai, only for him to shoot 63 the week after in Malaysia to lead around round one.

Thanks again, chaps.

Cricket wise things are going well after two shocking turns of events cost me £120 stake money.

I was on Mohammad Hafeez over 40.5 player performance points in one of (too many) one sided ODI’s played between Australia and Pakistan. No wickets wasn’t ideal, but Hafeez made his way to 40 batting at number four. Three or four dot balls followed and as the bet365 app suspended the market, I just knew the silly sod had got out. Seconds later ‘HAFEEZ OUT CAUGHT 40’ popped up. One run away from being £110 richer. Great when that happens….not.

The same day I backed England in a t20 in India in play £60 @ 6/5. A flurry of boundaries later and the ‘Land needed 6 (or 7, can’t remember exactly) off the last over. Easy peasy with Jos Buttler and Joe Roooooooot at the crease. Oh no. Dot ball, wicket, wicket….Suddenly a guaranteed win to make up and more for the Hafeez lose was somehow another loss.

Bearing in mind all this was happening during the premature tipulatiion, so-near-so-far golf bets, my mood wasn’t particularly good.

Since then I’ve stayed disciplined where previously I might have upped stakes to try and capture ‘unlucky’ losses. In short the last four cricket bets have landed at 11/8, 5/6, 5/6 and 4/6, turning round over £210 profit (and restored confidence that the betting gods aren’t totally against me)

The golf event this week looks pretty shit in Perth but I’ve backed a few rank outsiders (that shouldn’t be rank outsiders) at small stakes. If any of the five win they’ll capture £600+ profit for minimal risk. The view is hope they make the final then look to back the opponent to secure 1,000%-ish ROI for this week no matter the result.

Just as long as they don’t get pipped by a Paraguayan shooting 63 with a birdie-eagle finish I’ll be OK.

Thanks for reading and GL to all with your punts.

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19.01.2017

It’s been a busy old week with 700 miles driven in two days visiting customers in the day job. As such punting has taken a bit of a back seat after what was last week, a very successful and profitable start to the year.

Lets start with the golf.

A new tactic this year is to throw a % of the weeks stake money at big priced first round leaders (#FRLdar) So often my three figure fancies seem to go off like a train in rounds one and two before fading when the weekend hots up. Trevor Fisher Jnr is someone who always seems to have a low one in him, and for a large chunk of last Thursday it looked like £3 invested at 70/1 outright only was going to payout in full. Sadly a birdie-birdie-par finish from Keith Horne cut out 50% of the potential winnings, but a return of £106.50 for a £3 bet is exactly the type of margin return that makes betting worthwhile.

More success in the SA Open (great event btw) followed when Dean Burmester bounced back from a double bogey at the 71st and penultimate hole to birdie the 72nd and final hole. Burmy had looked good all week and assured of a full EW payout at 80/1. The double bogey, courtesy of a failed attempt to escape the green side bunker looked to be the first cruel turn of 2017, but the bounce back 3 that followed on the tricky 18th led to £285.00 being returned from £79.00 stake for the event.

Nice returns.

As I write this it appears that 200/1 #FRLdar Oliver Fisher is about to land another payout. This week I turned to EW for this market given the high quality nature of the field, and Fisher’s -6 looks to return £81.60. Not bad for another very small stake bet. With the weeks stake at £72.00, profit is secured with Sullivan and Wang well placed to make a run at the coveted Abu Dhabi Golf Championship crown.

If this #FRLdar market continues to be as successful then I might look to up the stakes to be closer to the investment in the overall tournament winner .

Cricket also went well. A few quid was lost of Mahmuddulah top runs and Trent Boult MOM award in the first New Zealand v Bangladesh Test, but this £17.50 loss was more than made up by BJ Watling passing 95.5 courtesy of one late catch in Bangladesh’s second innings.

Earlier in the week Pakistan wicket keeper Rizwan was also low at 29.5 at 5/6, again this landed with ease courtesy of three catches in Australia’s innings. £100 profit from these two bets, very pleasing that the player performance markets I am targeting has won 4/4 this year.

Hopefully I’ll get some more time over the weekend to look at some more cricket bets but happy to be over £300 up for 2017 over the two sports.

Now if only Ian Bell can finish the BBL with a couple of hundred runs…..

06.01.2017

The year couldn’t have gotten off to a better start (late 2016 to be pedantic, but still) with an £80 stake on Shakib Al Hasan player performance overs landing before he’d even had a bat during a New Zealand v Bangladesh ODI. Shakib always bowls his ten-over allocation when Bangladesh bowl first and he bats in the top five – at 39.5pts an 8/11 ‘overs’ bet was well worth the investment. In play I won a further £50 thanks to a Bangladesh batting collapse, sparked during a run-out whilst I fast asleep in the middle of the UK night.

A couple of nights later I backed Bangladesh before the off to win the final ODI – at 4/1 pre match they looked great value in my eyes – and at 100/0 or so they looked set to post a high total. Again, this match was through the wee hours and given that the little one hasn’t been sleeping very well at night, I took the chnace to get some shut eye. I woke seeing the ‘Desh had again collapsed, and despite taking two early wickets, King Kane Williamson saw the home side through to victory, meaning a first loss of 2017. In hindsight £50 at 4/1 was too greedy, again bought on due to the fact I’d won £108 profit in the first match.

A further win on player performance occurred during South Africa’s Cape Town rout of Sri Lanka. Vernon Philander had previously taken 31 wickets and three five-wicket hauls at Newlands at a fine average, plus he’d scored a half century with the bat. 129.5 points looked low to me at 5/6, worth £60. After ‘Big Vern’ surprisingly didn’t take a wicket in his opening spell, he returned to take the next six wickets to fall across Sri Lanka’s first and second innings, plus biffing a handy 30 something runs in-between. Easy win.

The came one of those days that we all punters have to laugh about, when everything goes wrong.

The Big Bash is heating up down under where I noticed the in-form Michael Klinger was 5/6 to outscore the very much out-of-form Shaun Marsh during the Perth v Brisbane match up. £60 looked the bare minimum to place on this, so sure I was that Perth’s skipper would score more runs than Marsh. After all, Klinger had done so in all three previous matches that the two had played in together this season, comfortably so on two of the three. Marsh hadn’t even made double figures, in fact. It lost by 14 runs as Marsh stumbled to a season best 32.

You can put up with these losses, it happens. But what really screwed me was my £20 33/1 EW ante-post bet on Ian Bell leading the BBL run charts which all but disappeared into thin air during the same match. Bell failed for 11 whilst his team mate Mitchell Marsh smashed a half century to overtake him on the tournament runs grabbers list.

Not a disaster I hear you cry?

Well, if the above was frustrating, then what Chris Lynn and Brendon McCullum did during the Heat innings was in betting terms a total disaster. McCullum shot about 60 runs ahead of Bell, whilst Lynn went mental at the other end, extending his lead from a catchable 51 runs over Bell, to 149 runs, in the space of an hour. Bell went from being a 7/1 shot to 25/1 in the space of a match all courtesy of Lynn’s unbeaten 98!

Profit for the week thanks to 4/6 cricket bets winning a positive, but I could really do with Ian ringing a few Bells over the coming week or two to secure a tidy EW profit on that leading run grabbers bet.

As for the golf?

Branden Grace started the week with two missed par putts from inside four feet! Both he and Bubba Watson are miles back are R1 – but its only day one – I’m sure one/both will shoot 63 tonight to get back into the hunt.

Or maybe not.

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01.01.2017

For the first time in the best part of seven years, I find myself in a position where I’ve nothing really to write about –

– Travel writing is on hold as real life has taken over in the past six months. My beautiful baby daughter has turned into an even more beautiful toddler. Whilst there are many positives to having such an active, happy, healthy child, the prospect of making her sit still for several hours on a plane doesn’t make me so quick to part with my hard earned on a random city break to Helsinki as it once did.

– Sports writing is on hold as my real life career takes off and requires much more time than the previous forty something hours a week. No longer can I find the time to turn the hours of research into words that saw a steady second income come in.

I must admit I thought long and hard about giving up punting altogether, especially after a small overall loss in 2016, but the simple fact is I know I can make really useful (untaxed) extra income when I dedicate the time to study up on a bet. A 77% ROI in 2015 showed me that!

Also, due to that aforementioned busy family and professional life (I commute on average 400 miles a week) I don’t have much of a social life. Betting is a great outlet for me and makes what could be sometimes tedious afternoons or evenings, particularly interesting.

That said I see betting as an investment. To turn some of my disposable into even more disposable, hopefully one day building enough capital to stick down a deposit on a house or perhaps even taking the missus and the little one on another big trip, though that will have till wait until the daughter can talk as well as walk!

So it’s time to get to the point. I’m planning on turning the blog into a review of my weeks/months bets. Not just to satisfy my desire to keep writing, but also to teach me discipline.

Too many bad bets saw me make a loss on the cricket for a third year running in 2016. Whereas in golf I have turned a profit in three of the last four years (mainly due to a solid staking plan and discipline) with the cricket I struggle to stay patient, often staking random amounts without really thinking things through.

2014 and 2015 I was up in cricket for the majority of the year before going on a bad run and/or getting greedy as the year drew to a close. I’ve been watching the sport much longer than I have golf and have been on nine overseas tours with England. I know I can make money from punting on it, I want this blog to help me prove it.

So don’t expect any more previews. Expect reviews and honesty.

You might think this is shit. I might agree with you. But hey, I like to write and by stripping it right back to the honest basics, it should hopefully make for some entertainment throughout the year.

Happy New Year and good punting.

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