Monday, 30 April 2007

Season's Conclusions

It was tight enough (according to the scoreline), but Barcelona managed to win their home match with Levante swelling the Paddy Power fund even further.

I'm in a position whereby it may be necessary to draw this season to a conclusion. I'm not touching any further Champions League matches (too close to call) and I'm avoiding domestic cup competitions (for the same reason).

The European leagues have gone weird:
  • Poor teams are scrapping for survival and punching above their weight
  • Good teams are resting their stars in favour of playing them in the cup competitions
  • Really good teams are getting the jitters as the home in on the league title
  • Fabulous teams aren't bothering to raise their game at all because they've already won the league
So where does that leave me?

Well, the £40 pot at the start of the season has quadrupled in value which ranks quite well with other "investment schemes":
  • £40 - £150: The Bookiebeater
  • £40 - £70: Property (in Northern Ireland)
  • £40 - £45: FT100 Tracker Fund (Stocks & Shares)
  • £40 - £42 : Bank or Building Society Savings Account
And I'm looking forward to next season! (Of course, if I will continue to look for value and if I find any worthwhile bets, I'll continue my investment scheme.)

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Wednesday, 31 January 2007

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

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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