Weekly Blog – Paddy Power merger, Bettors Form & SPOTY

Roy The Boy blog which looks at the Paddy Power Betfair merger, SPOTY, ante post advice on the King George and the new Horseracing Bettors Forum.

Let’s go to bed

A proposed merger between Paddy Power and Betfair has been announced this week.  The SKY News financial report has described this as ‘colossal’ quoting market values such as ‘combined revenues’ of £1.1 billion and a ‘market capitalisation’ of £5 billion.

This is the third proposed merger currently on the table with 888 fighting for Bwin, while Corals are attempting to jump into bed with Ladbrokes who absorbed Betdaq not so long ago.

Personally I think the Paddy Power/Betfair tie-up, unlike the Ladbrokes/Coral get-together, will breeze through the Competition Authority as only one entity has a high-street presence.

Just like the plethora of winners I’ve recently managed to tip-up (I jest), I did predict Betfair would make an attempt to enter the high-street recently.  I confess I was not expecting anything of this scale or magnitude.

The fact remains all competition is good competition and the very real prospect of at least three major bookmaking brands disappearing means there will be even less competition, choice and value, for the punters.

I suppose it matters little.  Last night I attempted to place €100 on a 14/1 poke. Bwin informed me the maximum bet they would take from me on the selection was €0.01c while Paddy Power offered me a bet of €40.

Given my experiences, just how these enormous companies make so much money is mystifying.  Likewise how William Hill managed to lose £2million on election betting during 2015?  I’ve scratched a bald-patch into my head.

Hills soaked up all the publicity they could out of accepting some chunky election bets but this admirable maverick style does not detract from the fact companies diligently insist on balancing their books 99 percent of the time.  While I admire Hill’s for taking a stance and sticking to it in regards to their election beliefs, I only wish they and others would adopt the policy across the board.  It is what you employ odds-compiler for.

14/1 bet on value and not popularity grounds

So, the 14/1 shot I was trying to back…  Andy Murray for Sports Personality of the Year.

With some 50/1 vouchers about Chris Froome and having backed Jessica Ennis-Hill between January and May at prices as big as 25/1 I feel like I’ve got all the bases covered.  I do also have a few ‘tokens’ on Hamilton at 8/1 whilst remaining steadfast the winner will be a female athlete (check-out last December’s blog).

Nevertheless, as much as I detest Andy Murray, I now have to back the Scottish separatist as there is a fear he could win both the US Open and the Davis Cup.  If he were to complete that double he too, like Ennis-Hill’s current mark, could be trading at 6/4.  I pray not.

If you have followed me in on the SPOTY 2015 hopefully you too should be sitting pretty and I’d suggest taking one more play with Murray at 14’s with Paddy Power.  If you cannot get on with them, then Ladbrokes, Hills or Sportingbet is the place to go for the 12/1.

66’s value?

This could be my last blog for a while.  Following a short late-summer holiday I’ve a court appearance to attend.  It’s only for a speeding incident but I’m pricing it up as: evens charges dropped, 7/4 standard speeding fine, 4/1 ticket & fine, 66’s jail time.

If I could get the 66’s anywhere I might just abuse the judge on the day.

By George

The December 26th treat which is the King George is only four months away.  No surprises in me backing the hat-trick chasing Silviniaco Conti.  Admittedly I cannot help myself but in all seriousness 6/1 – available with pretty much any firm that is not Irish or in takeover talks (try Betfred for now) – is too big.

At this stage potential opposition includes Cheltenham Festival winner (JLT Novice Chase) Vautour, Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Coneygree, and Don Cossack who is apparently the best chaser in training courtesy of him being the highest rated chaser according to official figures.

Those figures state he is more than a stone behind Kauto Star at his pomp (rated 190 in 2009/2010) and five pound ahead of Vautour who is one of six chases currently rated 170 or above.

Regardless of what the figures say, there is absolutely no chance this ‘big four’ will all compete in the King George.  No trainer will want to bust up their horse before the Cheltenham Gold Cup.  That is apart from Paul Nicholls who has now learnt his horse does not act there and will probably skip the festival with Aintree his next target.

If he is sound Silviniaco Conti will run in the King George, all other opponents are only ‘possibles’.  With just one of his key three rivals taken out of the race his price will come in, two of them and it tumbles.

Baby Factor

I’m not really into golf but I wish I had of known Jason Day’s wife was expecting prior to the start of the PGA Championship.

The history books are littered with sportsmen whose finest moments came just prior to their children entering the world.  Specifically snooker, darts, tennis players along with golfers.

They also show a massive drop off in form in the immediate aftermath which rarely returns.

Forum:  Nine non-experts?

The British Horseracing Authority have announced the membership of their newly formed Horseracing Bettors Forum.

A few of the nine members of the forum are familiar names to me, the others are not.  To be honest the BHA’s press release was kind of complicated reading for a layman like me. For example:  In addition, the Forum will be calling on the input of three Expert Advisors, who will not be required to attend meetings but who will be asked for their viewpoint on the matters to be discussed at those meetings.”

If these three individuals are experts why are they not members of this forum?  Does this mean the nine individuals have no expert experience?

Conveniently the BHA did give a short bio on the forum members where proof of their popularity, which is measured in Facebook likes and Twitter followers these days, was touted aplenty.

One member’s Twitter feed has 94,000 followers. I really need to know this guy better as the majority of them describe themselves as ‘nice girls’ who come from Russia and South America.

I doubt he will have much time to entertain his adoring followers though as, to date; he has banged out 86,000 Tweets which averages out at 93 Tweets a day.  It will certainly leave little time to make meaningful recommendations to the BHA.

The first meeting of the Bettors Forum takes place on September 4th where one presumes the use of phones and tablets will be scorned upon.