Wednesday, 31 January 2007

Phew... Last Minute Winner

A standard Wednesday evening can be turned into something quite exciting when there's money riding on a football result. Tonight was a little too exciting for me!

Linfield trailed Limavady by 2 goals at half-time. After 88 minutes, they had recovered the situation somewhat as the score stood at 2-2. Then up pops Glenn Ferguson to score the winner (and move my Paddy Power Pot closer to the £200 mark). Linfield have now gone to the top of the Irish Premier League.

As for the predictions that I avoided - both Chelsea and Manchester United won comfortably. Olympiakos, however, only managed to win their cup match after extra-time - or at least, it would seem so according to the result on! (To be honest, I wouldn't have recommended them had I known they were playing a cup match as cup matches this late in the season can go horribly wrong).

I obviously need to brush up on my Greek football and so it was a pleasant surprise to receive an email this morning from "Yan" offering to educate me on Greek football. Yan... I look forward to hearing what you have to say on the subject.

Wednesday Betting

The betting options this Wednesday (31st January) aren't as bad as I thought earlier in the week. A number of the "big boys" are at home tonight - Chelsea, Manchester United & Olympiakos.

I'm going to ignore Chelsea for now though. They seem to be missing John Terry at the back and Blackburn always provide tough opposition. Manchester United should beat bottom-placed Watford but I'm starting to worry that Manchester United's lead in the Premiership may make them feel complacent. As for Olympiakos, their odds are 1/12 which is really quite depressing.

However, I have found a bet for this evening. A quarter of the Paddy Power Pot (£46) is going on Linfield. Linfield are playing Limavady at Windsor Park and I believe they can go top of the league if they win. Mid-week matches in the Irish League can be dubious at times, but Linfield should win this one. Odds of 1/5 are "Bookie Beater" odds and the Paddy Power Pot should be hovering around the £200 mark this time tomorrow - if all goes according to plan.

20 Teams That Won't Let You Down

When I place bets, I almost always back the same teams. I have a short-list of teams around Europe that will always attract me (and conversely, there are some leagues that I just refuse to even look at). So, here is the definitive list of teams who just don't let you down when they are playing at home (in my humble opinion):
  • Chelsea
  • Liverpool
  • Manchester United
  • Barcelona
  • Benfica
  • Porto
  • AC Milan
  • Inter Milan
  • Roma
  • Ajax Amsterdam
  • AZ Alkmaar
  • PSV Eindhoven
  • Celtic
  • Rangers
  • Linfield
  • Glentoran
  • Panathanaikos
  • Olympiakos
  • AEK Athens
  • Galatasaray

Of course, betting on these teams when they are at home doesn't guarantee success but when you back these teams against a team in the bottom half of the league, they almost always win.


Sunday, 28 January 2007

Super Sunday

I'd previously stated that I would be backing Chelsea and AC Milan in their respective matches today and they didn't disappoint (although Milan were less than convincing). 3-0 and 1-0 results have pushed the Paddy Power Pot to £187.50 which is most pleasing.

My UK Betting Pot hasn't been receiving too much attention recently, but it's £40 has now grown to £73.33 following wins for Roma and Werder Bremen (at odds of 2/5 and 3/10 respectively).

I've decided that a successful weekend can now be brought to a close. This evening's matches don't give me the warm and fuzzy feeling I need to part with my money (despite the temptation to back Barcelona). The mid-week matches look decidely dodgy also with the exception of Bayern Munich (against Bochum) and Manchester United (against Watford).

I may spend some time analysing my record on mid-week matches... I have a nagging feeling that I'm not as successful during the week as I am at the weekend.

The Psychology of Gambling

Casual followers of the Bookie Beater may be forgiven for believing that I am a hardened gambler but the truth is that I have rarely stepped foot in a bookies.

I do, however, enjoy my football and do try to test my knowledge of football against the bookmakers each week. My Paddy Power Pot has grown from £40 (~$80) to over £180 (~$360) this season which is a respectable return - it beats the bank's interest rates and the house price rises!

This isn't the first time that I've managed that kind of return. Indeed, growing a pot from just a mere £40 to £180 seems relatively straightforward - even with the odd setback.

In theory, growing £40,000 to £180,000 should be just as easy. Shouldn't it?

I'm fairly sure that it isn't as easy and for a very simple reason. My decision making process seems fairly flawless when I'm gambling £10 or £20 but when it gets to placing bets of £50 and above, something strange happens. It's as if sub-consciously I know that the money could be put to other uses: buying a Digital Radio, taking the wife out to a nice restaurant or giving it to charity. My bets become less frequent, I start to become more cautious and I invariably start to make bad decisions.

Just when the bets start to make some serious money, the decision making process becomes flawed. And it is no use trying to convince me that I'm now playing with somebody else's money - I know I can cash in my pot at any time.

As Delboy used to say "He who dares... wins". Well, if I'm ever going to become a millionaire I need to learn to be able to apply the same logic to my £50 bets as I do to my £5 bets. If I can do that, then in another 60 winning matches I will have my £2,000. Another 40 after that and I will be on £10,000. Another 40 after that and I will be mortgage free!

Sounds simple, doesn't it?

If any psychologists know how to help me ensure that my decision making is disassociated with the value of the bet, then I'd love to hear from you.

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Straightforward Saturday

Both Panathanaikos and Tottenham Hotspur did the business on Saturday and turned £38 into £54.19. The Paddy Power pot for 2006-2007 has now swelled from £40 to £170.44.

I didn't get home in time to place my evening bet and I'm quite glad that I didn't. AZ Alkmaar won easily but Lyon struggled once again - they could only draw with Nice, although I did notice that Milan Baros scored his first goal for his new club. I've typically avoided the Ligue 1 having been stung before!

Today sees a quarter of the Paddy Power pot (£42.00) go on another double - Chelsea and AC Milan. Chelsea play Nottingham Forest in the FA Cup while AC Milan are at home to Parma. The odds are 1/8 and 1/4 respectively.


Saturday, 27 January 2007

FA Cup 4th Round

It's FA Cup weekend and my beloved Liverpool won't be seeing any action. I've tended to avoid the FA Cup in the past as it is quite unpredictable. However, today will see £38 being placed on the Tottenham v Southend match. These two met in a dramatic cup match earlier this season with Spurs snatching a last minute winner. But at White Hart Lane, Spurs are pretty invincible. They have a good cup pedigree as well!

Making up a double will be Panathanaikos who play Panionios at home at a measly 1/6.

This evening's matches need a little more consideration but I'm swaying towards another double - AZ Alkmaar and Lyon. Lyon need to bounce back after their defeat last week and Nice should provide them with enough shooting practice.

BTW... Look out for Sunday! Olympiakos, Chelsea, Werder Bremen, Roma, Feyenoord & Barcelona are all playing at home against much inferior opposition.


Sunday, 21 January 2007

3-0 Win For Barca

The Bookie Beater strikes again as Barcelona stroll to a 3-0 win. Another highly successful weekend and the Paddy Power pot is now hovering around the £150 mark. 24 winning matches on the trot!

There's likely to be a break for a few days as the mid-week matches this week don't look too appealing.

Time to relax with a glass of something fruity.

PS. I believed that the Arsenal v Manchester United match would end in a draw. Well, I got that one wrong - Arsenal scored a 93rd minute winner to win the match 2-1. No money was ever going near that match anyway.

Sunday Morning Review

Well, I was right about the Liverpool v Chelsea match. More importantly, I was right about the Celtic and Juventus matches which resulted in a 33% return on investment.

Barcelona will get £37 for tonight's match against Gimnastic which should be a 13% return if all goes well.

The Bookiebeater

Saturday, 21st January.

The standard routine of hauling myself out of bed and attempting to spring into life by checking the matches that are about to take place with a coffee is actually one of those events in the week that I look forward to. 15 minutes of peace and quiet.

I'm not too enthused by the list of matches in front of me. Certainly the Premiership seems to be made up of ties which are too close to call. Liverpool v Chelsea? I'm pretty certain that Liverpool won't lose and my heart tells me they will win but the Bookie Beater never bets on Liverpool :-)

Celtic and Juventus at odds of 1/7 and 1/6 will turn a £34.00 bet into £45.33 so that will do for today. Looking forward to the rest of the weekend, I'm guessing that a quarter of the pot come Sunday morning will go on Barcelona who face Gimnastic at odds of 1/8.

Time for chores now!