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  1. A pre-2017 Murray would have had Bautista Agut on toast most of the time, he’s not that big a server, just does most things reasonably well. Needs must right now, just don’t make mistakes on his own serve and then if he can at least get to a tie-break and see if he can find something.
  2. Just got to serve well and hang in there that way, and then you never know what can happen. I’ve seen numerous players win sets when looking physically broken.
  3. Shop around, bet where the prices are best. Sticking to one account is just what the bookmakers want you to do. Loyalty certainly doesn't pay.
  4. It's probably no exaggeration to say I've watched over half of Murray's 853 career matches. Definitely the best British sportsman I have seen in an individual sport. Very sad to see him struggling but he can be proud of all the success he has had and the enjoyment he has given everyone watching.
  5. Will be interesting to see what happens, but they'll never get it down to £2.
  6. I apparently hadn't signed in here since January, but just happened to notice this. I've never said that winning at betting is easy, because it isn't. I've had my fair share of stupid bets and there are some sports where I cannot make a profit despite trying (the NFL springs to mind). There are two main things to remember above all else I think: Betting always comes down to simple probability and your ability to estimate the chance of something occurring (ie a team or player winning) Discipline is everything. It is far easier to lose than win, so if you have no discipline you have little chance of winning long-term There are no secrets. I do have a maths degree, but then I've never used anything more than you'd learn doing GCSE maths to bet on football (baseball would be different). If I could put my finger on one helpful attribute, it is being able to look at lots of different information and process it all in your head to make decisions. I have always been able to do this, even when I was 13 or 14. Given a bit of mathematical knowledge, and having followed football (and looked at football odds) for a long time, then being able to estimate the probabilities of teams winning comes fairly easily to me. Other sports are far harder for me to be successful at. I would say if you've been betting for a while and you feel like you're not getting close to cracking it, then you need to be honest with yourself about why. You can't just wake up and decide to be good at something. Past experience and knowledge are all important. Statistics are absolutely fundamental. If you're trying to bet without them, then you're basically guessing. You can of course use the statistics in a million different ways.
  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06j0br6 The BBC investigated the limiting of certain customers by bookmakers on Radio 5 Live at the weekend, available to listen to for four more weeks.
  8. I did the GSR for the first time at the weekend. I was originally going to do the 10k but the half marathon route looked interesting so I ended up entering and running both races. I'm really glad I did as the half marathon was a nice run that I could appreciate more as I just jogged it really. Will be back next year to give it a proper go, without having run the 10k just before.
  9. Until you earn 1,000 Betfair points to get you a discount. Premium Charge, you have to have paid less than 20% in charges of the amount of your gross profit (commission paid is deducted from total winnings). There is a £1,000 allowance and any big win constituting over 50% of your profits is excluded. You have to have placed at least 250 bets also. For the "super" Premium Charge it is £250,000 in profit and 1000 total bets, with commission generated being less than 40% of your gross profits. Basically not something to worry about until you are several thousands in profit. 1%,whether you win or lose. They actually used to pay layers 0.6% on certain markets like baseball in the good old days. No extra charges that I know of. The margins and limits vary. When markets first open, the margins are higher and limits lower to allow the money to basically dictate where the market is set. I used to arb using Pinnacle extremely extensively going back a lot of years when bookmakers would take bets. I lost hundreds of thousands of pounds at Pinnacle because their markets were much more efficient than bookmakers who had static lines that their traders only altered manually. One decent-sized bet at Pinnacle will automatically shift their line. They make money by having efficient markets so that they are taking bets on all outcomes.
  10. I've had accounts closed within an hour of opening before I'd even placed a bet. Hard to find another explanation for that.
  11. I'm sure I've told this story before here, but I met someone when Betfair took some of their very biggest customers to the French Open at Roland Garros who runs a so-called "exchange shop". I went for a visit to his shop, and it was nominally a licensed betting shop with a counter taking bets. However the owner told me that most weeks he didn't even take £30 in bets over the counter. Once you walked in you noticed maybe 30-40 work stations, each with two screens. One with the raw SIS racing feed, which was accessible in the shop due to it being a betting shop, and the other a computer screen for accessing Betfair. I believe that the SIS feed is around 3-5 seconds ahead of At The Races, Channel Four or any of the other channels showing live horse racing. You can imagine what an advantage that is. The place I visited is not the only such place that exists, and was populated exclusively by young men in their 20's and 30's exploiting the few second advantage they had over people watching on TV. The fact that this "betting shop" in a fairly run down inner city area had a number of Porsches and Ferraris parked outside probably says a lot. Incidentally, people at Betfair told me that the Premium Charge was introduced as a direct result of these in-play traders making too much money while not paying enough commission relative to their winnings, on all sports and not just horse racing. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8414887.stm That brings to mind this game, which was televised live on Sky on a Saturday lunchtime. Portsmouth were 1-0 up when Javier Mascherano committed a bad challenge just before half time. He injured himself doing so and needed treatment, so the physio came on. While he was on the ground, the referee was talking to Steven Gerrard and I clearly saw the referee say "he's off". It probably wasn't an absolute certain red card looking at the foul, and the Betfair market was not suspended. Portsmouth were available at something like 2.1 at the time, which I backed, and when Mascherano stood up and was sent off this dropped to about 1.35. You've got to feel marginally sorry for the layers who didn't realise the red card was coming but Betfair markets are very cut-throat and everyone is looking to take advantage. The largest mistake I have ever made was when I was laying baseball on there. I was trying to lay both outcomes on an Over/Under 9.5 runs market. I was trying to lay £1100 @ 2.10. Except in my haste to enter the odds I didn't press down hard enough on the full stop/decimal point key and ended up momentarily laying £1100 @ 21. Before I could cancel, one of the bots people run to take advantage of such mistakes snapped up over £1000 of the amount I was laying. If you can accidentally lay an 11/10 shot at 20/1, you have to be prepared to take advantage when you get the chance. They want everything in their favour, so if you can gain an advantage then this is fair game in my opinion. Getting them to lay a decent bet in the first place is virtually impossible, and if they suspect you have faster information than them you can probably wave goodbye to your account pretty quickly. If you watch Betfair markets at the end of an event you're watching on TV, you almost always get the 1.01 backers and/or 1000 layers piling big money into the market as soon as they know an event has finished. If you're watching on TV, the final whistle or call of game, set, match usually comes a few seconds after the market hits 1.01 or 1000. People are effectively "buying money" by putting down five and six figure sums in order to make as little as £10 or £20. People make a living doing this. It can of course go horribly wrong. There was the time when a team was going for a game-tying field goal in the dying seconds of an NFL game. The officials called it no good and it looked like it had probably gone just wide. Cue the 1.01 backers / 1000 layers piling in. Except that the call was challenged and overturned, and the team that looked like it had lost went into overtime and won the game. Someone probably lost tens of thousands of pounds trying to earn £50. The same happened with an Andy Roddick match at the Rome Masters. He had match point serving for the match and apparently served an ace. The umpire called game, set and match, but while the market went to 1.01/1000 Fernando Verdasco got the umpire to check the mark. The serve was called out, Roddick went on to lose the game and the second set in the tie break. He then lost the final set leaving a decent amount matched on Verdasco to win @ 1000. Spot on. The in-running turnover is much higher on the exchanges, I think generally you have to be an idiot to use traditional bookmakers for betting in-running (there are exceptions, particularly in slow moving sports like cricket or events with lots of breaks in play). The bookmaker can just delay accepting your bet to see if things move to their advantage. If you're using Betfair and plan to bet in-running, you have to be extremely aware of any time delay if you're watching coverage on TV, online or just looking at scores. It even states this in the rules for each market. I've seen first hand how people try to gain an advantage with horse racing and I've spoken to a number of tennis courtsiders. Don't be naive and you won't get burned.
  12. I've been to Wimbledon, the US Open and the French Open and in my opinion Roland Garros is the best venue. Smaller and more intimate than the others, plus I like the unusual attitude of the French crowd.
  13. It's a difficult one. You have to have liquidity to attract customers, but if you have no customers to start with, where does the liquidity come from? Sporting Options by 2004 were trying to compete with Betfair but were seeding their own markets with money they did not have. They quickly went bankrupt because people were just picking off their good odds and making a lot of money, at Sporting Options' expense as it turned out. Betfair have such a dominant position that it is still hard for anyone else to properly compete. Matchbook have had decent liquidity on some American sports markets over the years, but are seriously lacking everywhere else. I'm not entirely comfortable depositing large sums of money there either as something has always seemed not quite right. The problem with Betfair was the advent of the Premium Charge, brought on because of their floatation. Some people were making enormous sums of money while paying very little commission. Betfair's argument was that it was costing them millions of pounds spent on marketing to replace this money in the exchange so there had to be an additional charge. A lot of these people were tennis "courtsiders" or people otherwise beating the time delay in-running. People not betting in-running should not be subject to additional charges but any exchange that is going to be a success has to make enough money from their commission charges and finding the correct balance is not easy. As you can see with all of Betfair's TV adverts these days, it's all about nonsense stuff like cashing out accumulators because they've decided there is more money to be made from being a bookmaker. Understandable I suppose as most people lose and they have a large customer base to milk. Sadly people who win a lot from gambling have virtually nowhere to turn these days.
  14. Sorry just noticed these questions. Since I wrote that things have changed again. The withdrawal from the UK of Pinnacle Sports on November 1st 2014 makes betting on American sports and tennis much more difficult for me. In fact betting on anything is tricky now. I'm right at the threshold of Betfair's Premium Charge, most bookmakers won't take a bet (or at least not for more than pocket change) and other exchanges have no liquidity. I was betting heavily on baseball and tennis at one point, but I stopped needing the money so the antisocial hours saw me give those up even before Pinnacle Sport's withdrawal. Not at all. The only problem for me is getting bets on. The mechanics of betting is just the same, except perhaps the bookmakers aren't as clueless on certain lower leagues as they were 10 years ago. Bookmakers make too much money from idiots, games of chance and poker. They won't take bets from anyone who remotely looks like they know what they're doing. Betfair's exchange is slowly going down the toilet as it doesn't make them enough money, and thus they have increased their charges while liquidity suffers on various markets. If I could bet as much money as I wanted at the advertised odds all the time, I'd have been long since sitting on my own tropical island drinking cocktails.
  15. If Nadal had been playing, I would have watched purely to see him and the shot clock. No interest otherwise so I've seen none of it. Absolutely, hard to see it any other way.
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