How Not To Lose Money On Football Matches

March 28, 2012

Don’t fucking bet on them.

I know, I know, not what you wanted to read after being suckered in by the post title but after losing money following a string of fucking retarded decisions by the guy that just refereed the Toronto FC v Santos Laguna match it’s how I feel right now.

And before I rant on here’s a stonewall money spinning tip – pile as much money as you can on Santos Laguna beating Toronto in Mexico…back the Any Unquoted scoreline, even if it starts odds on, because they will tear them to pieces on home soil following tonight’s debacle.  Of course my post title suggests that you shouldn’t bet on footy any more but place this one bet then stop.  Seriously.

It’s no secret that MLS footy is shit, we all know that but tonights game wasn’t MLS, it was CONCACAF – a fancy acronym for Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football.  And not only that it was the first leg of one semi final of the CONCACAF Champions league.  There are four teams left in it (duh !) and three are Mexican and one Canadian.  Toronto shouldn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of progressing which is why I chose to bet on tonights match.

Santos Laguna thrashed Seattle on home soil 6-1.  Seattle thrashed Toronto 3-1 on home soil.  If you apply some basic horseracing form study you see that if A beats B, and B beats C, it follows A should beat C.  I know it doesn’t always work out that way but that’s the way the horsey boys work so it’s good enough for me.

But then in horse racing you don’t have biased referees.  The idiot that was in charge of this game failed to give a nailed on penalty towards the end of the first half in favour of the away side.  The score was tied at 1-1 at the time but Santos Laguna weren’t even out of first gear for the most part.  A clear through ball put the Laguna striker basically one on one with the keeper and a lunging attack from behind which served to clip his heels and then follow up with a push to the back rendering the guy face first in the turf was waved away by the prick of a ref. WTF?

The half finished 1-1 and so I settled down for the second half having won a small bet on a lay of the 0-0 HT score.  I had two correct score bets that I placed pre kick off in favour of the away side.  I chose to lay the 1-1 as I was sure the gears would be stepped up in the second half and Laguna would cruise to a fairly comfortable win, if only by the odd goal.

There was the usual plethora of fluffed chances and misplaced passes that could have been golden had they found their intended target but I still felt confident of a goal.  Then came the referee’s second stupid decision.  He red carded a Laguna player who got fouled while he still had the ball.  Even the commentators were bemused.  Was the ref blind?  Was he having a mental breakdown? Why did he red card a guy who had the ball and stretched out to pass it before he got clattered to the ground?  He’s a fucking chump that’s why.

So we’re ten minutes from time and now Laguna are down to ten so they naturally don’t bother to play any more.  Toronto don’t have the talent to break down ten special olympics players let alone a talented Mexican outfit so I knew right there and then my dough was down the pan.  As I watched the dying seconds play out another red card gets dished out against Laguna causing a mass brawl on the pitch.  The replay doesn’t really capture the off the ball action but it does show that the ref wasn’t even looking in that direction as play had turned away from the Toronto box and made it’s way back to midfield.  There must have been linesman intervention but the whole thing stunk of a heavy bias towards the home side.

This is a crappy post I know.  I’m just venting because I hate losing money when things aren’t all above board.  If two teams are trying their hearts out and the officiating is good I’ll happily part with money if my call is wrong but in cases like tonight it really gets under my skin.

Make a note in your diaries….4th April…back Any Unquoted in the return leg.  Toronto are carthorses with one exception – the young lad Plata who came on as a sub appears to have some ability.  He won’t be in MLS long as he’s way too talented for that league.  Thank me later.

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Betfair’s Fake Suspends

March 27, 2012

There’s a thread up on the Footy forum on the Betfair site started by Tony Broke which basically says there seems to be more fake suspends than ever on in play matches.  The thread has surprisingly only attracted 26 replies in 4 days so far, many of which are bemoaning the fact that some of the match markets are nigh on impossible to get on due to the suspended sign appearing on and off throughout the game at seemingly random times.  For example it appears when the ball is bouncing around in the middle of the park, or out for a throw in, or at other times during a seemingly dull piece of play.  Obviously it appears if something interesting takes place like a goal or a penno or a red card or a fight though none of these things usually occur during an Argy 2nd division game as they usually finish 0-0.

One poster, wittily going by the name of ShirleyKnot, has this to say…

“ShirleyKnot 23 Mar 12 20:58

I will expand.

Bookies and betfair use third parties to collect their data.  All that is happening is betfair are not putting loads of bums on seats to watch obscure games, they use those outside providers, as they collect data to trigger a suspend too.

Not trainees, logical for betfair but probably frustrating.”

That makes perfect sense.  With the amount of in play offerings from totally obscure parts of the world it’s obviously not the case that Betfair have a guy actively watching the game live at every in play game they offer but that said I can’t have it that their feeds are interrupted to the point that some matches spend as much time suspended as they do in play (at least is seems that way sometimes).

The thing that I notice though is that most of these matches that suffer like this are between nondescript teams but not only that, they appear in games where there isn’t that much liquidity which is usually during games that are played in the early hours if you are UK based.  I have a theory of my own on this and I would gladly share it on the Betfair Footy forum if the bastards would lift my posting ban (more of that to come).  I think it’s the big single player market makers that are doing this, not because there’s a feed problem, but to allow them time to readjust their positions in the market and take advantage of the crumbs that are scattered about left by the diehards that get involved in these games (chasing, boredom, addicts, whatever).

Why is it that every time a suspend occurs but no goal is scored 9 times out of 10 you’ll find the market gets re-seeded with stupidly odd amounts?  And why is it that when this occurs there’s never any decent money available on anything other than the current score in say the Correct Score market when two minutes before the suspend there may well have been?

Someone is manipulating those markets and using the suspend button to provide the timeouts they need to get their figures right in markets that don’t carry the interest of say a top 5 EPL or similar standard game.  I may be wrong but in this day and age glitches like this should be next to nonexistant and it stinks to high heaven.  It would be interesting if someone with more of an idea of how these markets work than me would care to illuminate us with a comment or two.

More Forum Grief

Yes, I’ve fallen foul of the facking forum moderators AGAIN.  My last remaining account that wasn’t blocked suspended or banned bit the dust yesterday or maybe even today.  It’s not like I’ve been using the thing with impunity.  I used it two days ago to say hello to serially banned forumite Brainsurgeon (who is alive and well and posting these days as *******, well I couldn’t very well say his new name now could I?).

I posted twice, once to him and once to give someone a bit of advice on what to do about a laptop that won’t charge properly.  Fucking shoot me.  I have nothing but hatred for the people running the forums because they have no interest in it’s well being.  They won’t be happy until Betfair goes the same way as Betdaq and bins the forum altogether.  Yes there are a lot of clowns on there but it drives me nuts that some of the really hardcore arsehole posters manage to stay on there yet I call someone a batty boy and I’m hung out to dry (yes, in TSE’s view that’s a terribly serious insult worthy of a lifer ban) .

If anyone from TSE is reading this you can expect another email from me tomorrow a.m. as you seem to have misplaced the one I sent you on Saturday morning as so far I haven’t had a reply (which seems to be par for the course when you’ve managed to fall foul of them).

There you have it.  Feel free to comment, even if it’s only about the weather.  But especially if you came here as a result of searching Google about being banned from Betfair…Christ knows you aren’t alone.


We’re Betfair And We Do What We Want

March 11, 2012

Another day another howler from what’s fast becoming the most hated exchange on the planet.  In their infinite wisdom Betfair have decided to ‘relocate’ the Forums and re-tool the Community tab to push their latest moneygrab shite ‘Super Slots’.  It’s unbelievable how far removed this site is from the one that I joined 10 years ago.

They have posted an explanation on several of the most popular forums and left their post unlocked so that forumites can give their feedback.  Quoting directly from their topic post this is what they say….

“You may have noticed that the Community tab in the header of Betfair.com has changed. We want to explain why this has been done, and also to invite your views and comments: therefore, this thread is not locked and you will be able to leave your feedback. All customer posts will be read and considered.

This change is a trial which we have implemented ahead of the upcoming Cheltenham Festival as it allows us to use the tab to promote other key content on Betfair.com.

The Community and the forums within it are still a very valuable part of Betfair.com: there is a link to the Community in the Top Features area of the homepage, and links are still in place on the sports, football and horse racing home pages.

In the coming months, we will be making changes and improvements which will mean forum content will be easier to find, as well as relevant to the pages and markets it is on.”

One hundred percent of the feedback I read is unequivocal…we don’t like it and we don’t want your latest virtual cocaine.  One look at the tabs on the homepage shows you exactly which way this company is heading and regardless of how much people whine and complain they’ll simply ignore the noise and do exactly what they want giving scant regard for the customers, some of whom have been there since Betfair was formed back in 2000.

Casino, Live Casino, Poker, Exchange Games, Arcade, and now Super Slots…anyone who still claims to have a Sharp Mind should heed the warning and fuck off right now because you aren’t being catered to.  It’s the compulsives they seek to groom and nurture.  The exchange is too much of a hassle what with all the crashes on big days, bots are pretty much running the day to day in the smaller markets.  It’s just not a very nice place to be and it’s only getting worse.

I really wouldn’t be surprised if the phasing out of the forums had been tabled already at Betfair towers.  The users are treated as third class citizens.  Hell, Betfair don’t even moderate their own forums they outsource that job to TSE Global who have made a right arse of the job, probably because it’s not really their own baby so they couldn’t care less.  I get a tremendous amount of traffic coming my way as a result of simple organic searches related to being banned from the Betfair forum.  At the rate people are getting the boot there won’t be much call for a forum before too long.  Can the last guy out turn off the lights please.

But I’m digressing.  Here’s just one post I took from the Horse Racing forum’s thread on the subject of shifting the Forum off to a less noticeable spot to make room for ‘other key content’ care of  ‘themover’…

themover 10 Mar 12 01:20

Minutes of the meeting ;Bob: “ok we need to promote our slots some more, who’s got an idea?”
Steve: “how about we put it on a tab on the homepage”
Bob: “that’s a great idea, lets do it before Cheltenham, we can even put a NEW thingy above it pointing it out”
Steve: “oh hang on we haven’t got any spare tabs”
Bob : “ok what can we replace?”
Steve: “well we’ve got a Casino a Live Casino and an Arcade tab”
Bob: “no we need all them as they’re money for old rope”
Steve : “ok lets replace the community link we don’t need to promote that as it doesn’t make money and a pop-up will do them”
Bob : “good plan”
This is what happens when you let bean counters call the shots…incrementally shittier products.  The sad thing is though that unless and until a really serious competitor comes along who is prepared to listen to what their customers want, as opposed to having all this virtual betting shit forced upon them by this monopoly company, Betfair will continue to do as they please and walk rough shod over the very people that placed them upon their lofty perch, namely you and me.

How To Set Up A Blog

March 1, 2012

I get a fair bit of traffic these days yet I’m not that prolific a writer.  My blog is only linked to a bit more than a handful of other blogs, some of which haven’t been updated in ages, and my stats say that most of that traffic comes not from links clicked on other referrers sites but from either organic search or simply someone has me bookmarked as a favourite.  Regardless of how folk find me it’s always nice to see that people are interested enough to pop in and have a look around.

I haven’t posted for around a week so I thought it was time to pen another exciting and entertaining piece for the masses but when push came to shove I was actually stuck for something to write about.  I have in the past regaled my readers with stories from my days in the RAF albeit with an eye on tying those stories in to betting or gambling.  After all this blog is supposed to be betting related and not Aviation Weekly.

I’ve sat for the best part of two hours trying to gain inspiration from skimming through what stories are trending right now out there in internet land but nothing really stood out except for a couple of sporting stories, the first of which is this massive howler from the Maccabi Haifa goalie shown here in glorious technicolour courtesy of Dirty Tackle.  There’s another story on the same site regarding a possible case of match fixing after Bahrain beat Indonesia 10-0 in their recent World Cup qualifier.  A convenient scoreline if you take into account Bahrain had to overcome a 9 goal deficit in order to have any chance of progressing further.  Unfortunately for them the other contest in Group E ended in a draw seeing to it that their immense efforts were all in vain.

So with nothing in particular to write about I thought it might be useful to share what little knowledge I have about setting up a blog with you.  There has to be someone out there wanting to have a crack at virtual fame (and possibly fortune) so I’ll share what I currently know and some of you may find it useful though I have to tell you that I’m in no way to be considered any kind of guru – I’m just a beginner myself.

Which platform to go for – WordPress or Blogger?

Judging by my own blogroll the majority of blogs that I link to are on the Blogger platform but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s the better of the two.  I did a fair bit of research before I dived in and created this blog and for me it came down to where I intended to end up as opposed to where I wanted to begin.  After reading through a ton of info I settled for WordPress because the blogs/sites I was into at the time were pretty much all ‘self hosted’ domains powered by WordPress.

My thinking back then was rather than go to the trouble of spending money on registering a domain and then getting it hosted and then figuring out how to actually  go about creating a blog on my new site I would simply sign up for a free WordPress blog (this one) and start there to get a feel for what it was all about.  Everything is ready to go, the same as it is with a free Blogger blog, so I could crack on with the process of blogging and get to grips with how things all work before heading down the self hosted route (which is where I ultimately saw myself going if I took to it and it all worked out).  For those that might want a quick and really up to date comparison I found a post at pulsed.blogspot.com that may help sway you one way or the other.

So What’s A ‘Self Hosted’ Blog All About?

A self hosted blog is plainly and simply a blog on a website you own as opposed to a blog hosted by say Blogger or WordPress (there are many others but these two are the biggest out there right now I believe).  It’s a little bit more tricky to set up especially if you’re new to all this but you have way more scope to build a really good site.  It’s a little bit analagous to renting a house as opposed to having a mortgage.  I can’t speak about Blogger but the free version of WordPress has little in the way of plugins that make your life so much easier.  Take site stats for example.  WordPress currently has fairly adequate stats monitoring built in so all an Admin has to do is click a link in the control panel and the stats page appears.  Unfortunately that little gem is going to be taken away, or should I say relocated, very soon.  Instead of clicking a link on your own blog’s control panel you will in future be required to hop off over to WordPress.com to find out who’s been visiting.  Now that’s bollocks in my view but that’s how it’s going to be.  If your blog is self hosted but still powered by WordPress then restrictions like this simply don’t apply because of the many options available to you that aren’t available to the free WordPress bloggers.

Anyway, moving on. Basically you figure out what you want to blog about then try and come up with a suitable domain name and, if it’s not already taken, register it for a small fee.  For another small fee you then get it ‘hosted’ on someone’s server and you’re ready to go.  All you need to do now is make content appear on your website and then go about the tricky task of driving traffic to it so that people can see it, read it, and most importantly buy stuff from it (if you have stuff to sell).  You may not have a product to sell but you can still earn revenue from carefully placed ads on your site.  Internet millions await.

Give Us A Real World Example FFS‘ I Hear You Cry

OK then, here’s something I did earlier in the week.  I’ve been banging on about neural networks recently on here and there’s a reason for that.  It’s long been a goal of mine to resurrect my University project.  I created a bunch of neural networks and fed them horse racing data and ultimately got them to predict the winners of future races.  It was a very successful project.  My aim is to start again from scratch and document my progress.  Rather than write about it on this blog I’ve decided that it’s time to strike out and set up a website of my own and install WordPress on that site and start from the ground up.  Here’s what I’ve done so far as far as setting up the site goes.

1.  Register A Domain – I figured out what I think is a suitable domain name and went over to GoDaddy.com to see about registering it.  Right at the top of the page there’s a search box that you enter your chosen domain name into and you’ll see in an instant if it’s available or not.  It can be a bit hit and miss depending on what your chosen niche is but you can play away to your hearts content until you find a name that you’re happy with and is available.  Word of warning though – if you are going to focus on something that’s quite specific you’ll want to really think hard about your domain name.  You really do want the web site name to leave the rest of internet land under no illusion as to what your site is about.  It’s no good registering tomatoes.com if you’re going to be writing about potatoes but I think you get my drift.

The registration process is fairly painless but Go Daddy does try to sell you all sorts of extras so be careful all the way to the checkout.  It’s worth mentioning that Go Daddy isn’t the only domain registration site out there.  There are literally hundreds.  I did try one other place (namecheap.com) after hearing about it in an online webinar but they were a lot more expensive than Go Daddy.  I paid $6.54 for 2 years which is practically giving it away.  2 years should be enough time to see if my neural net product will fly or not.

2.  Get The Site Hosted – Nearly two years ago I went through this very same process and got myself a website up and running with a view to trying to sell some stuff via affiliate sales.  Going back to the previous paragraph I’ll reiterate what I said – MAKE SURE YOU THINK CAREFULLY ABOUT THE DOMAIN NAME YOU REGISTER.  I was all gung ho and couldn’t wait to get my own site up and running but I fucked up.  Without going through the whole story I wrote one piece of content for that site plus an About Me page and then realised that I’d made a huge mistake with the domain name.  When it’s lease runs out in June it’s back on the shelf as it’s no use to me.

The preceding paragraph was my way of introducing the fact that I already have a hosting account with HostGator.com .  I could have simply had Go Daddy host my site and some would find that kind of arrangement suitable having your site registered and hosted at the same place but I did my homework.  I listened to a lot of internet marketers who were out there earning money and picked out what I thought were the best snippets of info.  One of those snippets was a recommendation to go with HostGator and buy their ‘Baby Plan’ hosting package.  Again this is very cheap – I pay $9.95 per month for web hosting.  The good thing with the Baby Plan is that you get UNLIMITED domains, diskspace and bandwidth all on the same hosting account.  So for $9.95 I can have them host 1 website for me or 100 websites, the price remains the same.  After registering my site at Go Daddy I simply logged in to my HostGator account and added my new site to my account.  The only tweak required to now make this website appear to the public is to let Go Daddy know which NAMESERVERS to use, in other words the details of the server which would be serving up my website when a user requests to view it.  In this case I had to let Go Daddy know that HostGator was hosting my site.   By default Go Daddy inserts it’s own nameserver info in your domain account so it’s a simple case of entering the HostGator info in it’s place.  Done.

3.  Install WordPress – Now, if you’re a web developer then you’ll probably be designing your site from the ground up using HTML, PHP, JavaScript, and all that good stuff but if you aren’t and you want to get up and running TODAY then this is the way to go.  You simply install WordPress on your site and just as soon as the install is done you have a fully functioning website that you can run either as a blog or as a website because WordPress lets you create pages just like you would on a regular site.

To do this here’s what I did.  I logged in to my HostGator account and navigated to the Software Services section.  In there there is an icon called Fantastico De Luxe.  Clicking on this icon takes you to another page that lists a whole bunch of scripts that can be automatically installed on your site.  I simply chose WordPress and clicked on the link to do a new installation.  As I have more than one website in my hosting account I choose which site I want to install WordPress on and it automatically does the rest.  There are a few boxes to fill in, namely where you want the WordPress install files to go (choose the default location), give it a username and password so you can login to your WordPress admin panel on your new site and you’re pretty much done.  Within seconds of hitting the Finish button your new site is live and showing the ‘Hello World’ blog post that is automatically generated by every new WordPress install.

I had thought of actually going through the motions of creating a real time video version of how to do all this but that’s for another time.  There are tons of sites out there with some really great walkthroughs of how to do all this stuff so if you’re inclined to give this a go for yourself take the time to look for these great resources.

The only thing I have left to do now is start to create content for my new site but first there are some tweaks to do like installing a couple of must have plugins, and getting a nice theme so that the look and feel of the site is to my liking.  The key to being successful in the future is to have a good plan and a good framework from the start.  I think I’ve got that though I still have a few more bits to do before I actually start writing.  Of course the greatest test of this site’s long term success rests on whether or not my neural net application does what I’m hoping it will.   I know some people are interested because I see in my stats what people have searched for in search engines that ultimately lead them to my blog so hopefully you find a little of what you seek here.

Hope that wasn’t too boring a read because it’s took me a while to write.   More details on my new site will follow once I start writing to it.  See ya soon.


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