Saturday, April 28, 2007

Man Booker International Prize - Preview

Several bookmakers have not opened up on the Man Booker International Prize. The contenders are listed at the official site:

I believe that these type of contests are relatively open. The decison in this case is made by small number of judges who may easily have a strong preference for any one of the shortlised authors.

This prize is given for 'lifetime achievement' in literature. It is the 2nd time this award has been made - the first time it went to a (realtively) unkonw Albanian author.

The contenders this time are fairly mainstream. I've slected two against the field, both who have a strong literary career.

Michael Ondaatje - 25/1 - 2pts Win (as short as 8/1 at Paddy Power)
Chinua Achebe - 20/1 - 2pts Win (As short as 5/1 at Paddy Power)

(With a cover of stakes on Margaret Atwood at 14/1)
(All bets at William Hill)

As you can see, bookmakers prices are relatively different. This means that although this is a speciality market with high overounds, by choosing best bookmakers prices you get a 105% book.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Are Bet365 bookmakers?

I tried to place a £25 E/W on a First Goal SCorer bet on the Chelsea V Liverpool match at Bet365 and was restricted to £2 E/W. Last night I tried to place a £100 bet on the Indy Racing and was restricted to £0 (and they then moved the price in of the selection). So my question is

Are Bet365 bookmakers?
No free polls

Friday, April 20, 2007

Snooker World Championship - 4pts E/W Ryan Day - 66/1

With 2 long-priced winners in the past 2 years, there is no need to be afraid of backing an outsider in the World Chamionship. My initial thought on this event was to back a player E/W in the (weaker) bottom half of the event. However, I've struggled to find a decent priced player who cna make progress.

Instead, I've turned by attention to the top half. I think I've spotted some value in the 'Quarter of Death'. In this quarter, Day plays Robertson, with the winner of this match playing the winner of the O'Sullivan - Ding Junghui contest.

Day has not previously progressed beyond the 2nd round in his 2 previous visits to the Crucible, however he lost in tight matches as follows:

2004 10-9 Higgins
2006 13-10 O'Sullivan

He has played reasonably well this season (his best season yet) reaching the quarter-finals of the Northern Ireland Trophy 2006 and runner up in the Malta Cup 2007, losing 9-4 to Shaun Murphy.

If Day gets beyond the 2nd round (a big if!), he has a great chance of winning the tournament.

Indy Racing League - 4pts E/W Sam Hornish - 5/1 - Japan 300

This weekend is the 3rd round of the Indy Racing League. I'm pleased to see that a 'proper' bookmaker (Ladbrokes) have started betting on this league.

This weekend we are back to an Oval course (as opposed to a street course) which should benefit Hornish and Wheldon. Hornish has qualified in 5th and is consequently a great price for the race. Whedlon should be favourite, but I'd make Hornish the clear 2nd favourite at approx 3-1. Barring accidents, I am confident that Hornish will make the top 3 hence I;m placing amn E/w bet to nothing.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Grand National Preview

The Grand National appears especially competitive this year. This is not good new as I backed the SP of the favourite to be 5-1 or less on 14.02.07 (4pts)


As the ground has softened, I've watched my AntePost fancy Mckelvey be backed into 16-1 (without taking the 50-1, 2 weeks ago). Damm. At the prices now, of the leading contenders you can make strong case for the following:

Point Barrow
Dun Doire
Bewleys Berry

For this reason, rarher than an outright or E/W bet, I've looked for a bigger price horse to make a place. (Typiclly, bigger priced horses don't actually win the race.)

William Hill have some generous 'place only' prices and I've had 2pts on Thisthatandtother to make the first 4. He has a touch of class about him and the 28/1 is more than fair to make a place. The conventional thinking is that he won't stay (which is possiblly true) but I'd say he was simply unproven over the National trip. Nicholls thinks the 100-1 outright is an insult.

My bet of the race is not in the outright market, but a Skybet special. They make Idle Talk 10-1 to Pull Up. This is a great price - I'd make it substantially shorter. I'd have had 4pst on this but Skybet have restricted me to 1pt. Many horses pull up in the National and Idle Talk did on his last visit to Aintree.

Good Luck All!

Monday, April 09, 2007

Englan to win Cricket World Cup - 25-1 - 4pts Win

England have performed reasonably well so far in the World Cup, narrowly losing to Sri Lanka and Australia. However, the other results have meant that if they win their remaining 3 games against South Africa, Bangladesh and West Indies they will qualify for the last 4. South Africa is the key game - if they win this they are likely to go through to the last 4, irrespective of the other 2 results, via NRR.

The Betfair market on this has South Africa at 6-1 and England at 25-1. England seem a great price at 25-1 - I'm having 4pts win.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Neel Jani to star in Champ. Car.

Although Sebastian Bourdais merits the maximum respect, Neel Jani has a chance of posting some impressive performances this season in his Red Bull powered car. He has been impressive in pre-season testing, typically making top 3 times. Pre-season testing times should not be overly relied upon, but it is probably worth chancing a small investment.

I've therefore had 1 pt E/W on Neel Jani at Stan James at 25-1 on the Championship.

In qualifying for the firat race of the season at Las Vegas, Neel Jani has not qualified particluarly well. However, with Bourdais inear the back of the grid, I believe that Jani is worth an investment.

I've therefore had 0.5 pts E/W on Neel Jani at Stan James at 33-1 for this race.

Update: Though you might be interetsed in this 'Live Chat' with Bet365!

James D: Hello, welcome to bet365 Live Chat. How may I help you?
Chris: Good Afternoon. I've tried to place £25 on Neel Jani for the Las Vegas GP and there seems to be a problem.
James D: What seems to be the problem?
Chris: I have only been offered 30p E/W. That is £0.30. Surely some mistake?
James D: The amount offered to a customer depends on the nature of the event and our Traders’ estimate of the likely profitability of that customer’s business. We are sorry that the amount offered in this case is less than you would like to have staked.
Chris: As in £0.30 vs £25? Do you think 30p is a reasonable maximum size for a bet from one of the UK largest bookmakers?
James D: As I said, I am sorry that the amount offered in this case is less than you would like to have staked.
Chris: Do you think 30p is a reasonable maximum size for a bet from one of the UK largest bookmakers?
James D: I am afraid I am unable to comment on that.Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Chris: Yes, are there any markets where I might place higher value bets? Woudl you take, say, £1 on Premiership matches or would that be too large bet for Bet365?Chris: (that is 100 pennies).
James D: We take each individual bet on it's merit's, so I could not comment on what would be offered on Premiership matches
Chris: My thinking is that your motor traders aren't prepared to stand by their judgement (despite the fact they have the % margin in their favour). Why is this?
James D: As I said I cannot comment on this, it is a trading decision.You were informed of the restriction on your account on the 20th March, and I am afraid these will stand
James D: Is there anything else I can help you with today?
Chris: Lack of confidence in your motor traders is not a trading decision, it refects you confidence in your traders? Why don't you just change them?
James D: As I said, I am not prepared to comment on this further. I will terminate this chat unless there is anything else I can help you with?
Chris: Is there anyway that I can have my limits raised, say to 50p? I know that is a big bet.
James D: As I said, I am now terminating this chat.

From the server records, I know Bet365 read this blog... hi guys!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Malysian Grand Prix - Lewis Hamilton - 1.5pts E/W - 14-1 (Sporting Odds)

The Ferraris and McClarens are clear leaders in performance (with Ferraris in front). However ther is a real possibility that Raikonnen will suffer a 10 place demotion due to an engine change. This gives Hamilton a great chance of a podium finish. If the engine change doesn;t happen, it is still a fair bet.

I *nearly* backed a Hamilton Podium Finish at 2-1, but more speculatively I've gone E/W at 14-1 (with increased place terms). He is as short as 7-1 outright elesewhere.

I'd have had 4pts E/W but I have had my stakes restricted by Sporting Odds.

Update: I've had a further 1pt win at 20-1 at Betfair on Lewis Hamilton.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Indy Racing - Streets of St. Petersberg - 2 pts win Tony Kanaan - 7/1- Stan James

This road course is unsuitable for the oval specialists Wheldon and Hornish. Instead, I've selected Tony Kanaan to win. He has a solid record at this event (consistent top 3 finishes) and this could be his year. He went fastest in qualifying and would have finished on pole, but for crashing. Instead he lines up in 6th place.

His main competitors are the 5 cars in front of him. The most signficant drivers this week are Castroneves (Penske), and Dixon (Target). Either of these could well win but they are much shorter prices than Kanaan (typiclly approximately 2/1 and 4/1 respectively - accurate prices). I think Kanaan will be too strong for his less experienced team mates Andretti and Franchitti, and Manning doesn't have the car under him.

I'd make Kanaan an approimate 7/2 chance ... I'd have had 6 pts win, but Stan James restricted me to 2pts.

Back (to Lay) bet on Charles Clarke - 50-1 - Betfair - 1.5 pts

It look a disctint possibility that Charles Clarke could stand against Gordon Brown in the race for the Labour Party Leadership. He will need 44 MPs to nominate him - whether he gets this will likely depend which of John Macdonald/Millband (if any) stand. I fully understand why he wants to stand - he is not likely to get any sort of poistion in a Brown led government.

If he does make the ballot paper, I would expect him to trade at approx. 10-1. Can't see him winning so would be a good point to lock in the profit.

New Seven Wonders of the World - Great Wall of China, Pyramids of Giza.

I've taken a look at this market and are well out of line. The 'Great Wall of China' and 'Pyamids of Giza' are 1-20 chances in my eyes (other bookies go top priced 1-33)... these bookies go 1-5 and 1-3. I'm not usually a short price backer, but I'm having 3pts on each, (virtually) risk free. I just can't see how either of them can come out of the top 7. Not going to win much on this, but a small profit is still a profit...just waiting to collect in July 07.

I can't get more on as I've had to open a new account (and they have restricted how much I can be deposited until my identity is confirmed). If I was unrestriced I'd have had 100 pts on each!The upside of this is I've had a free 1.5 pt bet which I have placed on Petra at 11/4 - top priced 7/5 elsewhere. Petra is currently jut inside teh top 7 - 7/5 is probably an accurate price.

More information on this market (and how it works) can be found at: