That bookie-bashing I was going on about yesterday...erm, thought I'd wait until tomorrow. Give it my full attention, you know? Believe me, I'll have 'em. Just wasn't quite in the mood for it today. Tomorrow, you watch.
Oh dear! Gory details further down...
There is one subject that if you are a member of the SBC, or you dabble a little in gambling forums, or even if you simply bet regularly with a moderate amount of success, you will no doubt have read a lot about. Bookmaker restrictions. I have read all sorts of theories as to why suddenly, out of the blue, you can't strike the size of bet that you want, or in some instances you can't strike a bet at all! I'm sure, like me, you have also read ways around the problem - opening pseudo accounts, splitting stakes between different bookies to keep the amounts your betting low and under the radar, using cash in the shops whenever possible, etc, etc. I personally do all of these things. The maximum bet I will ever strike with one bookmaker is £50, even if that means that part of my stake is on a selection at a lower price than theoretically I could secure. For Christ's sake, I even keep a running tally of how much I have staked with each individual bookmaker so I know if I'm using one account disproportionately to others!
Today though, Corals had me well and truly flummoxed. My flumm, was oxed! I just cannot see how or why they acted as they did, and I must admit, this concerns me a little. If I have no idea why they acted as they did, how can I take steps to keep them on side? What happened? Well, at lunchtime today, I went to the Corals site to place £50 on Oldham to beat Carlisle tomorrow in League 1. They sent my bet to be assessed by those shady characters who lurk in the shadows - the "TRADERS". The amount of time they took to make an assessment of whether or not my £50 bet was a reasonable request, I could only think that they were making decisions on a far greater scale and of much greater import. As I waited (with that circular cursor thingy proving to be as hypnotic as the eyes of Kaa the snake in The Jungle Book) I imagined fevered brows, sweat running down faces tormented by tension, rushed communications with Head Office. Could they risk allowing me to potentially take such a huge amount out of the Coral coffers that the very company itself might be endangered? The very fabric of decent society was resting on their shoulders, dependent upon their decision. How much might this amount be? Well, at the odds advertised, a whopping £125! I kid you not!
One of the traders finally made up his mind...there were just too many jobs and liveihoods at stake - they could offer me £10.
As I accepted their offer, and having wiped the sleep from my eyes, I placed the remaining £40 elsewhere. Right, finally, on to placing the next bet. Southend to beat Barnet in League 2. I looked up the odds on the oddsportal comparison site. Oh bo**ocks! Best price 7/4 - Corals. I stared with disbelief at the screen. Someone is taking the mickey, I thought. But I'm stubborn. I took a deep breath and psyched myself up.
My loins suitably girded, I returned to the fray, fearing the worst and warning my boss that I may be indisposed for a considerable part of the afternoon. Straight in - £50 - bet confirmed. No messing, no waiting. The little green box appeared as if nothing was easier than to accept this bet. My only conclusion can be that after the struggle with Oldham, those traders just didn't have the heart for another fight. They were done for. Either that, or someone in there doesn't rate Southend too highly at all.
Seriously though, things happen with bookies that make you stop and think. It's a serious business keeping accounts open and usable. If I was to do a SWOT analysis on my gambling, THE biggest threat to me would be not being able to get a decent bet on because none of these rum beggars will let me. I've often thought it would be a fantastic thing to get a job in a trading room for a while, just to see what goes on and how they make their decisions. We can theorise until we're blue in the face, but no-one knows for sure what goes on in those places. Failing that, talking to someone who has worked in this environment would be the next best thing. There's a 'Comments' box below should anyone reading be in a position to oblige...
How do you spell the word that describes the noise you make when you puff out your cheeks and exhale? Pfffph (?).
After close of play on Saturday 15th January, I was up £934.58 on the month, jogging away quite happily on an roi of 11.5%. A day shy of a fortnight later, I have dropped into minus figures.
Northern Monkey Punter has been drifting in the doldrums of late, but today saw a gust of wind that filled it's sails. Two winners (Black Baccara - Lingfield - 3/1 and Co Dependent - Wolves - 7/1) and a place from three selections meant a 5.2pt profit and the service now stands a shade in profit for the month. On The Nose managed two placed from two each way selections and thus a small profit (0.8pts). The other five services in action though, all lost today...4PA (-1.5pts), PJA (-2.8pts), Chasemaster (-0.5pts), ProBandit (-1.25pts) and Winning Racing Tips (-0.2pts).
Friday 28th January: Staked £401, -£124.20.
Week to date: Staked £1,576, -£514.36.
Month to date: Staked £13,842, -£45.02, roi -0.32%.
Am I worried - no, not in the slightest - I've had worse losing runs than this. Am I peed off - yep, undoubtedly.
Could do with a decent weekend. I may regret saying this, but I have a little feeling in the pit of my stomach, that it might just be.
Oh, and come on Oldham!