Wednesday, 24 November 2021

What's the Strangest Bet in History?

Love to bet? 

In this modern age of gambling, almost half of the population love to chance their luck. Whether it's horse racing, football, tennis, a night at the casino or you can't keep away from those online slots. There's one thing you can guarantee - you're not alone!

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I guess, the majority of punters bet on pretty normal stuff. You may find the odd person who specialises in something unusual, exotic or plain wild. They may keep it quiet almost embarrassed by their preoccupation. Let's face it, come 25th December, someone will be looking out of the window to see if it's a white Christmas. Get in! 10/1 winner with a few snowflakes falling from the heavens.

There must have been some very strange bets placed over the years. A population of billions of people on planet Earth. There must have been a number of very, very, very strange bets. 

Searching the internet we found a couple of bets that you may consider very strange if not a little humorous.

A Tattoo Too Far

We can't be sure this particular character won a bet for the most absurd tattoos but he was infamous for all the wrong reasons. This bloke's branding may not have come to our attention but for being arrested. The mugshot showed a man in his early twenties and inked on his forehead were the words: PSYCHO. On one cheek he had a tear and the other a heart. What are the odds of seeing some like that down your street? 

Clever Bet for a Big Guy

Betting isn't always about the fittest, strongest, best athletes. Surely the big, rotund bloke has no chance of winning a race against a young whippersnapper? As we know, the wise man builds his house upon the rocks. Which tells us something very important when gambling. 

The wise, intelligent and cunny often take the spoils. 

The story originated back in 18th century England when local butcher Mr Bullock challenged the Lord of Barrymore to a race. Mr Bullock was a big, big man. In this day and age, he would be considered morbidly obese. He liked his food and enjoyed pies. He was unfit, slow, and looked to have little hope of winning. 

The Earl of Barrymore was fit, ready and eager. He was an athlete. How could he possibly lose? 

Such was his confidence that he placed a huge bet on himself. He was a short-priced favourite. 

To make the challenge fair, Bullock asked for two conditions:

  • A 35-metre head start
  • He chose the course 
The Earl was so sure he would win, he accepted. No conditions could stop him winning. 

Mr Bullock, the canny soul, chose the race to be held in London with very narrow streets. With his 35-metre lead, his ample size blocked the Earl's path and there was no way he could pass the burly butcher who tormented his opponent by chomping on one of his pork pies as he crossed the winning line. 

Be careful not to gamble with a fat man with a pie. 



Heading To Great Yarmouth Races

There never seems enough time with work, rest and little play. However, that will be changing later this month when a few of us venture to Great Yarmouth for a day at the races. 

It's a superb location being on the Norfolk coast. Plenty of hotels, historic pier, fun fair, greyhound racing & racecourse - even a couple of casinos for those who love the spin of the roulette wheel. Talking of casinos, take a look at this bgo bonus and promo code. I've always enjoyed a little bit of flutter and a win is even sweeter than the rock on sale down Regent Street.  

One thing to note, Yarmouth is a favourites course. In fact, so many jollies win at this track you need to take note of the horse at the head of the betting. Since the straight mile has been upgraded the quality of horse has risen quite significantly. Well, definitely larger fields. To be fair, this venue always had a reputation for quality thoroughbreds. Hardly surprising when the likes of Sir Henry Cecil frequented the course in the good, old days. A true gentleman, who took the time to chat with everyday racegoers who remember and cherish his words. 

These days, a new breed of trainer walk the turf. Remember the late Michael Jarvis? His once assistant trainer, Roger Varian, is now a leading light and I keep my eyes open for his two-year-old debutantes. Few of his better juveniles win at big odds but a winner is a winner.  

Taking a look at Varian's better juveniles, I've got a couple worthy of your time. Whether they will appear at Yarmouth is another thing but here goes. 

Farnham 

This bay filly is a daughter of Farrh out of an Irish-bred dam called Purple Tiger - who never raced. However, Farham is no slouch which a 110,000 Guinea sales tag details. This May foal is owned by Clipper Logistics who are no stranger to good horses. They had done well with Soldier's Call, a two-year-old trained by Archie Watson. In addition, to a decent pedigree, Farnham has been given a Lowther Stakes (Group 2) entry. This is one of two entrants for the trainer. The other horse Yourtimeisnow ran a cracking race on debut at Newmarket when third, beaten less than one length. This indicates the judgement of Varian and why you may be wise to put Farnham in your mythical notebook. 

Here to a lovely day at Yarmouth races.

Photo: Jason Coote

Thursday, 11 November 2021

It's Like Having John Gosden on Speed Dial

The 2021 Flat turf season has finished.

I have been following horse racing since 1988. A love of horse racing inspired by my father and the wisdom of my twin brother who found our niche. 

Tony wasn't interested in simply taking a brief look at a race card and making a bet. 

He dug deeper than anyone within the sphere of two-year-old horse racing and the first person in the world to research the significance of pattern race entries specific to juvenile horses. In fact, it was acknowledged by Nick Mordin's column in The Weekender many moons ago, who was literally startled by this data in pinpointing the best unraced and lightly raced two-year-old colts and fillies in training. Group entries have changed their format over the years but still a major part of our analysis. How do you think we manage to keep ahead of the game? 

As mentioned in my marketing talk:



 ''It's like having John Gosden on speed dial...''



Thanks, John. 

You are welcome to join our free mailing list at Group Horse which details 10 Dark Horses throughout the year. This inside information will be an eye-opener for many readers. It may well be the first glimpse into a deeper understand which goes beyond the surface structure the bookmakers and general pundits may want you to believe.   

Every piece of true knowledge that has worth in pounds, shillings and pence. It's hard fought. 

That is why, in future, it will literally have a price on its head. If you want something of value it most definitely has a price. Else, you'd go to Hatton Garden, pick up a ten carat diamond ring for the misses...and walk out the door without paying. Mmmmmmmm, I wonder why that doesn't happen! 

All this information doesn't grow on trees. I know as you read these words you may think easy come easy go. Yeah...right. So, you're a plumber, well come round mine and fix this leaking tap and I'll say thank you in ten different languages but don't expect a penny from me. 



I've got this really colourful language that I'm just dying to tell you... 


Even these words take time. The understanding and expertise behind each word took years to appreciate. You might think how can these words be worth anything. But, as usual, for many, you're wrong.

When you read these words they encompass a depth of understanding. They have an air of confidence. 

You bet they bloody do...

I asked the question the other day about the big gambler at the casino asking: How do you view your gambling?

It's an interesting question. 

To many gamblers, it might be the most uninteresting question ever written on planet Earth. If that is your answer, I would suggest you should stop betting at once! (That is said with tongue in cheek because it really doesn't concern me what anyone does). Your win, your loss. Roll a dice. 

Think about this question.



What separates you from other
 gamblers? 


Everyone kind of has their own way of doing things, hey. You only have to watch someone playing darts to notice their throw is unique to them. How many ways can you throw a dart? If I said 7.125 billion you'd think it's quite a number. The population of planet Earth. Yes, I know babies, the very old or people with disability may not be able to throw a dart, but you get what I'm trying to say.

But, let's say, how do you, personally, select a ''winning'' horse?

I've had this conversation with my good friend Eric Winner. Yes, he is the bloke who runs a website of a similar name. 

I know lots of very interesting people with many, varied, sometimes inspiring approaches to gambling. I listen, learn, steal...the best bits. 


I could tell you 10 pieces of information and guarantee 
you made money gambling 


The thing is, it seems easy to say. Easy to read. But that information wasn't easy to find. It took thousands of hours to learn. I could say something to you. You may accept what I say, take it or leave, or even think what does that bozo know.

I've had people do all those things. It is the reason why I don't say much to most people about my betting. I'm not being funny, but when it comes to two-year-old horse racing I can confidently say I know more than you. It's a fact. It's like going to the doctors and trying to explain to him how the heart works. 

The thing that makes me smile is that I am a generous person and have given a few gems of wisdom away for free but people disregard them because of a multitude of reasons. Basically, it boils down to people thinking:

  • You simply can't beat the bookmakers. 
  • Wrong. 
  • You can't know anything I don't know. 
  • Wrong
  • Or they think the world is flat. 
  • Wrong. 


I often assess people in how many ways they can be wrong. If you meet a wrong 'un. I'm not being funny but save your breath or if you have enough for one last sentence, tell them to...


''GO LOVE THEMSELF''   


I had originally detailed F*** O**

I rarely swear in conversation. It has much more impact on the page and gets the message across in a nice, succinct form. 

If you want to be successful at anything you need to know that little bit more than most. That little bit more may put you 80% ahead of the game. That's why it pays to specialise. Know your niche. Who the hell knows everything? What is everything? Why would you want to know everything? 

Chop off your head, replace it with an old monitor and have a smilie screensaver as your face, a brain strapped to your back in the shape of a modified, but old, desktop PC. The downside is that you won't get a joke! 

You don't need to know everything, bloody thing.

I don't care how hot it is in Cuba because I live in a Fenland town. The weather's always like four seasons in a day. You need to have confidence in something that works. Even if you have a strange affliction about knowing things that shouldn't even register in a sensible mind you still have just 24 hrs in a day to process all this gunk. 

Best to work in an efficient, relaxed, if you can, manner.

Find your niche. 

This post was going to mention the Brocklesby Conditions Stakes... but I think the wisdom of this post may benefit you more.   

Saturday, 16 October 2021

When Lady Luck Catches Your Eye

An interesting topic of conversation. 


You know why people have a fascination with gambling? 

Because they think it's easy money. 

I can tell you now if you honestly think you are going to win at gambling by sheer, blind luck then you are correct, it can happen. 

People looking at websites such as Online Casino Deutschland for all the latest free bets, spins and bonuses. They are like the majority of gamblers hoping they will hit the jackpot. 

We've all seen people winning the lottery. Sure, there is some lucky bloke round the corner from your old grans who needed a larger cheque because they couldn't fit all those zeros. 

The old dear who walked into Tesco's and got a scratch card and won a million as she was tucking into a pie. 

Have you ever seen lady luck? Do you know what she looks like, what she wears or her favourite perfume? 

I have this image in mind. She has the style of Coco Channel, her perfume comes from one of those giant bottles you only see in boutique stores. Perfect hair with a flash of purple in the front (pictured, Lady Luck at Great Yarmouth Casino). Without question, she is a beautiful lady. If she brushes past you while buying a scratch card from W H Smiths you will notice that look, touch and sweet, heavenly smell. She is fleeting like willow the wisp, often brushing past one to favour another with a smile on her face. She turns those waiting in line to green-eyed monsters while those she touches feel like a million dollars even if they only get three bells come up on the fruit machine. 

While she is in your presence she is a queen. As she walks past with her head held high, she's a bitch. 

Lady luck will visit everyone at some point in their life. She is only surpassed by skill or knowledge but even then she may make someone a fortune without a moment's thought.

The next time you are about to place a bet, buy a scratch card or play at the casino, stop for a moment, look around and see if she is waiting in the wings. If she comes closer, place a bet because this may be your lucky day. 

She is waiting for you...

Thursday, 30 September 2021

He won £10,000 at the casino. Why stop betting?

It's interesting to watch others gamble. To appreciate their understanding, philosophy & methodology.

Perhaps most gamblers don't even consider this point. For many, gambling is just something you do: pastime, hobby, fun, buzz... It can be any number of things. Some psychologists may even say that really people gamble because they want to lose. 

''Although, I guess some people consciously think ''who gives a f***'' 

We've all seen people betting like that. Bizarre.

Each to their own. Only a fool limits others. I could watch some random bloke in the bookmakers, bet in hand, and think ''what does he know?'' 

But what does he know? 

The truth of the matter is unless you know really know someone they may be the best or worst gambler in the world. Although it is part of the human condition to make inferences, it doesn't pay to think you know others. 

It pays for each individual to question, reflect and learn from what they do in all aspects of life including gambling. With self-reflection, we have an opportunity to learn. I would rather learn from my mistakes, even more, others. Why? 

Because they are usually less costly for us, personally, and help keep us on the right path which may lead to success. 

I went to Grosvenor casino at Great Yarmouth on Friday night. I went with my two brothers. It is a social evening rather than going to take them to the cleaners. For anyone who knows anything about gambling at fixed odds, it would be a stupid exclamation. Do you think you can beat fixed odds? The casino rake will slowly, slowly, slowly...take its profit (your loss). 

The only way you can win betting at the casino or any fixed odds is to get lucky, stick your winnings in your pocket, and go home. If you go to the casino once a month with that approach you may even win money. If you get lucky. 

I don't bet much money at the casino. I bet on the roulette. A single number and corner. If the single/corner number comes up it pays 43-2. In that sense, if I get lucky, my little bit of luck pays 43 x £5 = £215. If that coincidence comes early in the evening it's a good day. I put the money in my pocket, or at least my stake, and conclude, with a smile: ''You won't be winning anything from me tonight.'' 

There was a bloke at the casino with his wife, playing roulette. She was standing by watching proceedings. He didn't look like he had two five pence to rub together. But as I have said, it doesn't pay to limit others. For all I know, he may have been the richest man in the room. The staff knew his name, so he was clearly a regular. 


''He was betting £300 a spin. He bet wide and far across the table with £5 chips. Plenty of stacks of chips on single numbers''



I like watching people bet. Why? Because I know about betting from a professional perspective. I never bet for fun on my speciality of two-year-old horse racing. I bet because like a professional stockbroker - it's business. Every gambler in life, unless it is illegal or insider trading of some kind, is the same. Don't be fooled into thinking one gamble is different from another. The only difference is the person and their understanding, knowledge, professionalism, insight...or lack of it. The best gambler, investor, call him what you may, wins. 

I bet at the casino for ''fun'' but even then I try to play with some logic. I don't even like saying I bet for ''fun'' even at the casino but it is one of the few exceptions to my rigid rules. Principles, guidelines, foundations to your gambling knowledge are the key to success. 


''I don't like losing'' 


I definitely don't bet to lose. I can take a small loss at the casino because I do class it slightly different being more sociable (still hate saying those words). Thankfully, I am winning. Truth.

But back to this bloke... 

He wasn't doing too well, then hit on a winning streak. Number nine was hot and he got lucky a good few times. After a couple of hours, he cashed his money to £100 chips and had probably four or five grand. 

Not bad. 

However, my question, thoughts, understanding, wasn't to do with the amount of money won.  

What went through my mind was: ''How do you view your gambling?'' 

He was clearly a regular at the casino. He mentioned the day before he won £10,000. Did he regard himself as a pro gambler? You know what I'm thinking, hey? Or you should do if you have any understanding of gambling. 

Fixed odds. It is the equivalent of betting at a table and the banker has horns sticking out of his head, a ruddy complexion, and the room feels rather warm. In fact, you just placed a bet against the devil himself. No f****** wonder he's smiling. 

Fix odds. How can you win long term? Infrequent bets. Perhaps. Cheating. You can win cheating. You need that in your armoury of skills (especially at the casino). 


''But the security is tighter than Uri Geller's underpants''

You won't get out the door with a bent spoon from the restaurant. 

Good luck to all gamblers. I love to see a winner. Only a loser wants to see someone lose! But if you bet too regular at the casino I would fear that one evening that devil will steal what once looked to be a burgeoning purse. 

When betting it pays to stop and consider whether your bet is based on skill. 

I mean you wouldn't want to play chess against a world champion unless you knew better or fancied you had the odds in your favour? Skill is an asset which you can use to win. Fixed odds like to wave their magic wand with the illusion that you can beat the book. It is the hardest, strongest, most confident, ruthless opponent, you will ever meet.   

Long term you will lose.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Gambling: The Concept of Time...

As the John Rowles song goes: ''If I only had time, only time...''

Betting, keeping up with the two-year-old horse racing, let alone anything else, takes time. At times, far too much time. It's the way it is. From my perspective, there's an overflow of racing. I won't say poor racing because I kind of like betting good juveniles when making their second or third start against inferior opposition.

It's like a conveyor belt from the Generation Game. Instead of winning prizes, you store horses in your hippocampus (that's not a place hippos camp) and wait for that synaptic nerve to fire up like an inch of pure magnesium. Which, somehow, with years of experience and knowledge leads to a bloody good winner. 

If I was a conspiracy theorist, I would say there is too much racing because someone somewhere knows it stretches the stamina of even the most big-lunged beast with a brain the size of diploblokeus. ''There's too much racing'' is often the voice of those who actually have some understanding of what they are doing rather than the greyhound mentality which cannot see enough races. 

I once chatted to someone who said they preferred greyhound racing to horse racing because there wasn't so long to wait for the next race. I didn't say anything but I was horrified by the statement. To me, it was like saying they preferred painting by numbers compared with a true artist who loved (or was tormented) by each and every stroke. 

Each to their own. (I know who I would rather be).

It is difficult when you have three or four two-year-old races with a five or ten-minute gap and then a meeting is running late. However, efficient, professional and hardworking, no one can really look at two things at once. 


When You Run Out Of Luck

What is luck? 

Definition: 

Success or failure apparently brought by chance rather than through one's own actions.

Synonyms:  good fortune, good luck, success, successfulness, prosperity, advantage, advantageousness, felicity (I thought that was a woman's name!!!!) [Luck, B****]

Here's a few more if you're feeling inspired by the word: a stroke of luck; informal fluke, a lucky break "with luck you'll be in Marseilles tomorrow night"

We've all heard the quote: ''The harder I work the luckier I get.'' To be fair, that's being clever rather than lucky. It's like having a joke at someone who just relies on luck. 

Luck. It rhymes with another word beginning with the letter F. That's what most punters say when they rely on luck because it is akin to putting your faith in the Witched Witch of the West if you're hoping to swap those ruby slipper. She's more likely to smoke your broomstick than fill your pockets with cash or four-leaf clover. 

I know most people say to win at gambling it is all about skill. Yes, I know most people have not one ounce of skill [take my word for it] and rely 100% on luck. In that sense, they do get lucky on occasions. Have you found that alongside luck putting pound signs in front of your eyes it also has the affect of amnesia, because those lucky bleeders sure do forget their losers?  

Good luck to you. 

Anyway, luck does play a part in every aspect of life and gambling. 

I would rather be lucky with a bet to win £10,000 than one to win a fiver. And it can certainly happen both ways. 

Lady Luck. Who is she? I wrote a post musing over this subject: When Lady Luck Catches Your Eye.

Just imagine if you could buy a bottle of luck. It would be like Henry Cooper with a dab of Brut behind each ear. Even Henry could have done with a touch of luck when fighting Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in London, 1963. The Enry's Ammer making the man himself (Clay) see stars. Unfortunate timing at the end of the round and Angelo Dundee stating years later than he made a tear in the glove, gaining four or five seconds of luck while he changed the pair. Cooper, always a gentleman said it didn't make any difference to the fight. I don't think we would have been calling it luck in this day and age, more like a scandal and unsporting behaviour. As they say, all is fair in love and war.  

Gamblers don't rely on luck to win long term but lady luck or the luck of the devil does come into play short term. 

Sometimes, we all need a touch of luck. 

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Photo: Pixabay free fro commercial use and no attribution 

Thursday, 9 September 2021

How to win at gambling by knowing your niche

Gambling. It is a subject that probably puzzles as much as it fascinates. 

Let's face it, most people enjoy a bet. I guess most wagers could be termed ''fun bets''. This would be described as a throwaway bet or betting with your emotions. For the buzz. Backing your favourite football team in a local derby, place a pony each-way on a horse you have a part share, perhaps you feel it in your bones. 

Each to their own. It's your money, so do as you please. It's good up to a point, hey. 

But what if you really want to make money gambling? Going from a gambler into an investor - akin to someone who makes a living as a stockbroker. 

It's a cliche but life is a gamble. Your insurance company is betting that you don't drop dead today. They have good reason to be confident. They are experts in their field. They make a living from selling you a piece of security which you are unlikely to need. When you need it you will find the expert isn't so welcoming anymore. 

The problem with betting from an emotional point of view is that you are likely to struggle with objectivity. Emotions fall short on logic. Have you ever got in a mood and then sat down afterward to realise what you said lacked any reason? It was fuelled by passion, anger, envy...   

Even the most disciplined of gamblers cannot escape emotions in some form or another and objectivity, even if based on scientific methodology, is a difficult subject to get to grips. It's a slippery eel. 

I didn't even want to chat about the subject of objectivity/emotions but all aspects of gambling are, in truth, intertwined with a myriad of variants. It can be a very difficult topic to even touch the surface. 

Let's talk about a niche. A niche is about the specific rather than the domain. 

If I said I want you to read a book because at the given date I will set you a test you'd probably be confident. You'd have an understanding of the subject. 

What if I threw in a couple more tomes: Mills & Boon, War & Peace & The Dummies Guide to Sheep Shearing? 

The chances are you would fail miserably because there's only so many hours in the day to revise, learn... Pass that test!

Jack of all trades - master of none. It's true. To understand more you need to focus on less because even considering the smallest aspect of your sporting niche will become a truly time-consuming endeavour. I know from studying two-year-old horse racing that there is never enough time to do everything. I often refer to it as being stuck on a conveyor belt. Why? Because racing dictates your workload. If you fall behind how will you ever catch up? If you fall behind you may as well give up. If you are lacking you cannot bet with confidence. You need confidence.

To be fair there are many different ways to bet, tip, win, lose, draw.... If you have a super-quick answer to those questions you are lucky. Because the majority of winners prevail for one very good reason - they work harder. If they don't work harder now, they did to gain their knowledge/skills/expertise. This foundation of expertise may start by pure luck or chance. However, it will end with skill and so many aspects that you never even realised were part of the professional gambler's life. 


''You don't, long term, get lucky and win'' 

You win because you know more. You have a greater understanding. Basically, you have learned how to become an expert. 

Even then, it is far from easy to make money betting. 

If you want to make money betting [investing] then it is important to enjoy your work, take your time to understand the subject matter which is likely to be formulated by trial and error. Find angles which you feel give some reward. Try to find something which is unlikely to be replicated by others. If it's ridiculously simple it is very unlikely to work. If you can find this information then others will do the same and probably better. Don't forget that your niche may need only be a slight variation to be successful. That may be enough to tip the balance in your favour. 

It's like the origin of species and natural selection.  No species have the same set or skills, habitats etc. They are the top [of their niche] because they have evolved to be best. You need to have a knowledge which means you have the skills to survive in the betting world. It isn't about being the best just that little better than most 

Good luck.  

Monday, 16 August 2021

Meeting Jerry Banks

Many readers of our horse racing blog will have heard the name Jerry Banks. 

It's funny working online. I bump into people here, there and everywhere. Some from down the road (Eric Winner), others from across the globe, while one man Jerry Banks lives at Lowestoft on the Norfolk coast. Being a regular at Great Yarmouth, I have been just a stone's throw away from this seaside town. I think I have been to Lowestoft once, a good few years ago, with a lady I used to know. I think it was a day out, travelling from Great Yarmouth. 

Anyway, I must have been chatting online with Jerry for many years. A long time. He runs Jerry's Best Bets, a horse racing tips website. Jerry knows his horses and bets as a professional gambler. 

I have been to Great Yarmouth races for many years and had one or two opportunities to meet Jerry at the racecourse but sadly it hasn't happened with plans changing at the last minute or simply missing him in the crowd. 

I am going to Great Yarmouth horse racing on the 28th June and I heard from Jerry that he is too. 

So, finally, I am going to meet him at the course, at a time and place. I imagine it will be near the winning post at 3:15 or something like that. 

Looking forward to meeting him and having a drink.