Weekly Blog – WSOP, BAGS, X Factor, Russian GP & Booker Prize

Roy The Boy's weekly blog looks at WSOP’s November Nine, BAGS in Mullingar, the Russian GP, Lindsey Vonn’s prospects in the Alpine Skiing World Cup, SPOTY and the Man Booker Prize.

Laying Fav in WSOP’s November Nine

The November Nine, or the final table of the World Series of Poker as traditionalists prefer to call it, is now a month away.  We gave it a preview back in July and since then little has changed in the betting; admirably it is a market offered by most of the major firms.

As a brief reminder, Joseph McKeehan is the favourite priced-up between 11/10 and 13/8.  He has a 63 million chip-stack which is more than twice that of his nearest pursuer, Israeli player Zvi Stern (29.8 million).  There are a total of 180 million chips in play.

Let me reiterate I think his price is ridiculous and I’ve done some further research to support my case.  Here’s how the player starting the final table of the WSOP as chip leader has fared since the concept of holding the final table in November was introduced.

2014:   Jorryt van Hoof (38.4m chips)                               Finished   3rd

2013:   JC Tran (38.0m chips)                                             Finished   5th

2012:  Jesse Sylvia (48.9m chips)                                       Finished   2nd

2011:    Martin Staszko (40.2m chips)                                Finished   2nd

2010:  Jonathan Duhamel (65.9m chips)                          Finished  1st

2009:  Darvin Moon (58.9m chips)                                    Finished  2nd

2008:  Dennis Phillips (26.3m chips)                                 Finished  3rd

The defence rests its case!

Mullingar BAGS?

I’m still trying to get my head around Mullingar appearing on bookmaker’s walls and screens when I walked into a betting office this past Sunday afternoon (to watch Treve get trounced much to my disdain).

I must confess I never thought I’d see the day an Irish track would make its way onto a BAGS service.  After all Boylesports, sponsors of the Irish Greyhound Derby, are currently running a poster campaign in their shops stating they do not accept bets on Wednesday race action from Shelbourne Park.  That’s the very same Shelbourne Park that stages the country’s premier race, sponsored by Boyles, and it is Ireland’s flagship stadium.

Nevertheless Mullingar is now a BAGS track meaning a stern directive has clearly gone out to the on-course bookmakers at the track stating all races must have an SP return of 130 percent.  So far they have been obedient.

This has created another thing I never thought I would witness in my lifetime - dogs returning at 7/1, 8/1 and 10/1 in a graded race at an Irish track.

Call me a scaremonger but this ‘project’ is doomed to failure.  Irish greyhound racing still reminds me of my days parading dogs around Aldershot, the south of England’s premier flapping track in the mid-80’s.

SP manipulation is one major concern but it is more so the constant threat of massive time-finding, part-and-parcel of Irish racing throughout its extensive lifetime, that will surely ring in its premature BAGS demise.

A surf through Sunday’s results shows a nine-length race winner; all of its rivals had a race-card comment of ‘every-chance’ next to their name. Ringtown Lilly, that nine length winner, clocked a time of 28.58sec when landing an A3 contest.

The other A3 on the card was won in 30.37sec and the A1 later in the day:  29.11sec.  The BAGS hierarchy have never seen like and will never tolerate the like.  It is doomed.

Still Swerving X Factor

There’s another two and a half months of X Factor on our TV screens before it concludes, yet we already have a 2/1 favourite for outright honours.  17-year-old Louisa Johnson is the contestant that heads the betting.  Madness.

I did like another singer from the same ‘girls’ category, Chloe Paige, who is one of six ‘girls’ remaining in the competition.  However, her Twitter feed states she is available for ‘bookings’ and offers up an email address should you wish for her to sing at your wedding.

Would ITV producers allow this if she had sailed through the next round of eliminations?  The internet indicates that round, ‘the judges houses’, has already taken place and has been made into a pre-recorded show but it is also insistent contestants will only be told if they have successfully made it through to the ‘live stages’ during a live show.

As much as I’d like to have some more of the 33/1 on offer (at BWIN) about Chloe Paige I’m still keeping my powder dry.  SkyBet are offering 40’s but they don’t like to take a bet and offer no associated each-way terms.

A Sochi 1-2

It’s the Russian Grand Prix this coming weekend.  It takes place around the Olympic Park in Sochi, a circuit which made its debut last year in a very boring spectacle.  Unquestionably the most boring F1 race of the decade.

Organisers are equipping cars with different tyres this time around in order to promote more than the one pit-stop cars took last year.  I sincerely hope it helps make the race more exciting.

As was the case here last year, and eight times this season, a Mercedes 1-2 looks the most likely result by far and I very much like the dual-forecast scenario here again.  So far only Bwin have priced this up, going 8/15, which is very much in-line with the probability but keep a close eye on BetVictor and Bet365; either could go bigger in the coming days.

Vonn can be Overall World Cup winner again

Anna Fenninger is top-priced 13/20 with Sportingbet to land the Alpine Skiing World Cup Overall title for the third consecutive year.  Unquestionably her task has been made dramatically easier as one of her chief rivals, Tina Maze, has excluded herself from competition for the entire season.

Fenninger’s strength is her ability to score highly (and win) in three disciplines: Giant Slalom, Super G and Downhill.  However, Lindsey Vonn is unquestionably the better skier in Super G and Downhill.

Last season the American beauty returned from serious injury only in December yet claimed eight race wins placing her third in the overall standings.  It’s the kind of form she displayed in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 when she won the overall title.

With Vonn showing she was prepared to compete in some Giant Slalom competitions last year, I think it will tip the scales in her favour this time around and therein I really like Betway’s 51/20 offering about her for the overall title which concludes on March 20th in St. Moritz.

Murray to make SPOTY podium

Did I promise to not harp on about the Sports Personality of the Year Award anymore?  I lied.  I think my last recommendation was to add Andy Murray, at 14/1, to your portfolio. The Scotsman is now 8/1 best (Boylesports) for ‘victory’ in the annual televised award.  He is still worthy of a bet as the each-way terms with both firms is 1/4 the odds places 1-2-3.

With his ‘Great Britain’ team trading around 4/11 for victory against Belgium in the Davis Cup final, one strongly suspects Murray will be on the SPOTY stage in Belfast on Sunday 20th December.

Once there, it will be hard to see him off the podium in a four-way battle that includes the ‘winner’ Jessica Ennis Hill, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Froome.  8/1 each-way looks a free and already winning bet to nothing with BetVictor and Paddy Power.

Let us not forget, in addition to winning the award in 2013, Murray was also third in 2012.  Tennis is inexplicably popular with SPOTY voters these days.

Man Alive @ 9/2

The Man Booker Prize is awarded next week, October 13th.  I’ll not bore you with the fine details as I’ve just bored myself senseless with hours of mind-numbing book review reading.

All I am able to confirm is Bet365’s 9/2 offering about ‘The Year of the Runaways’ by Sunjeev Sahota is massive and must be snapped up.  Betvictor are next biggest amongst rival firms offering 3/1 but the fact that Ladbrokes go just 9/4 indicates Bet365 have made a simple old-fashioned mistake.

Advised Bet:

2 points win The Year of the Runaways to win Booker Prize at 9/2 with Bet365