Weekly blog from Roy The Boy reviews some lucky punts, Betfair on course in the United States, Snooker shootout, Spanish Grand Prix from Barcelona & American Vice President bets.
It’s been a funny few weeks on the punting front. Just recently I placed a Place-Pot via BetVictor.com only to discover, in horror, that I’d mistakenly entered the wrong selections in their easy-to-use online slip.
I begged and pleaded with their ‘Live Chat’ representative to cancel the bet but to no avail, I then tried their telephone rep but, despite there being over 30 minutes before the opening race, there was no possibility of the bet being voided.
Was I irked? Did I give them what for? Put it this way, BetVictor no longer accept wagers which feed into the British Tote Pool. That’s official.
So a week later, watching US horseracing like a degenerate gambler does, I used Bet365 to place a small forecast on an obscure race at an even more obscure meeting on an odds-on shot to beat the second favourite in a dire contest where they are betting 20/1 bar the top-two.
Guess what? Once again I realise I’d ticked the wrong boxes and I was on one of the no-hopers to beat a 3/1 shot. Once again I was on the ‘Live Chat’ and then on to a telephone representative but, once again, there was no turning back: “Such pool wagers cannot be voided once placed” was the official line.
Funny old world, as mid-way through my consequent rant I realised the race was off and the horses were already deep inside the final furlong. Furthermore my 20/1 shot was well clear of my second placed selection with the favourite well and truly buried. Rarely is a phone slammed back down so quickly. Touch!
Will on-course Betfair work?
Anyway, this has been a big week for US horseracing/betting with Betfair now offering on-site exchange wagering at New Jersey circuit Monmouth Park.
Monmouth Park has agreements for simulcast exchange wagering at ten racetracks around the country and, apparently, plans are afoot to expand the number of tracks where ‘Betfair on course’ can feature if/when interest grows.
I wish Betfair well and I sincerely hope their plans work out but experience tells me they will have a mountain to climb. I’d love to have the hours back that I have spent, invariably sat at a Las Vegas poker table, trying to explain the concept of placing a fixed-odds bet with a bookmaker either on-course or at a racetrack to Americans.
And that is only part of the story, in the 90’s I had this hair brained idea of selling spread-betting to our American friends. That was a futile and costly exercise. I’m afraid American’s are simply too set in their ways and they are not inclined to embrace any concept that is new and especially not one of their own.
But let’s say exchange betting goes down a storm and on-course punters abandoned their much loved ‘win, place, show, exacta, trifecta, quinellas’ etc and start punting into Betfair.
This will see traditional tote pools suffer in size and with them retaining a high percentage of turnover – which finds its way into prize-money – and Betfair charging small commissions, the sport is set to see its income suffer an that could ring its death toll.
Snooker’s Shootout is ranked alright
News has just come through that snooker’s ‘Shootout Tournament’ is to become a ranking event. That’s farcical stuff as the ‘best of one frame’ event, with its maximum 10 minute game time, 15sec and 10sec shot clock and insistence that a ball is potted or hits a cushion every turn, is best suited to kids at a youth club.
Simply anyone can win at this format and, as Robin Hull showed earlier this year, that includes a good club player. So, once again, when the 2017 edition comes around I’ll be backing all the kippers priced 150/1 or more.
Fernando’s Top-10 material
This week’s F1 comes from Barcelona. It’s a desperate venue where on-track overtaking is all but impossible. Nevertheless there is an early betting opportunity with Fernando Alonso more than capable of finishing inside the top-10, a ‘points finish’.
The homeboy rises to the challenge when racing on home tarmac and his record here reads: R-6-1-2-5-2-5-R-3-1-2-4-2-1. Of course that incorporates his time at different teams but his current McLaren car, which will go far better here than at a lot of the ‘high speed’ circuits, can finish within the top-10 for the second consecutive race.
Trump’s running mate
Donald Trump is now 1/33 to receive the Republican presidential nomination. I’ll not harp on about that being a 100/1 touch for this column – just yet anyway!
The next job is to identify his running-mate. I’ve heard whispers about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani who impressed many during the aftermath of the 911 attacks on his city. Once again this is a candidate will would appeal to the mainstream and at 50/1 (Betfair) he’s worth a few pennies as is former front-runner Marco Rubio at 16’s.
This Week’s Best Bets
US Presidential Election 2016 - Republican Vice Presidential Candidate
Rudy Giulani 50/1 Betfair
Marco Rubio 16/1 Ladbrokes
Spanish Grand Prix
Fernando Alonso to ‘Finish in the Points’ (Top-10) 11/10 SkyBet/Hills/Powers