When a Void bet tastes sweet.

Another profitable week and that makes it three from three so far for 2023.  I’m not complaining, and when overall we see an ROI of 16%, then why would I?

But…and isn’t there always a but?…my turnover is significantly down from that I was achieving at the back end of last year.  In this context, the ROI figure carries less significance when looking at it solely in terms of how much actual money is being made.  The amount is not bad at all, but it’s not where I want it to be longer term.  But this is an adaptation period.  Gone is the access to soft books.  Betting this year so far has all been done via cash in shops or by using the Exchanges (Smarkets).

Not helping on the turnover front has been the winter weather and the impact that’s had on both horse racing and football.  I’ve had a number of football coupons carrying teams whose matches have subsequently been called off due to frozen pitches, and race meetings have succumbed too.  So it’s a case of accepting this as something that can’t be controlled and not getting too up tight about it.  All that can be done in this regard is hope that the cold snap doesn’t last too much longer.  But this is the UK, and it’s winter, so who knows?

Golf, of course, tends to be played in sunnier climes and this week sees me adopt a new win-only strategy across the board.  I’m going to look to cover about 20-25% win probability of each tournament taking prices available on the Exchange.  It’s going to be interesting to see how this works out, and I retain the right to tinker with my approach as I get a feel for it.  Braced for losing runs, I know it’s going to sting like an angry wasp when I inevitably lose a bet on a 200/1 shot in a play off.  Best be psychologically prepared in advance for that turn of events, I reckon.

Finally this week, an observation that although there are some very good, astute and decent people working behind the counters at bookmakers, there are also some right old dimwits!  The latter tend to be the younger generation I find (or is that just me getting old and grumpy?).

A prime example was the Friday just gone.  Stuck two football coupons on at Hills.  First one was fine, second one came out on a slip that wasn’t right – didn’t list the team names, prices, or anything resembling a normal slip.  When I questioned it, the chap said it was absolutely fine.  The bar code was on there, and that’s all they needed to get any returns sorted, etc.  I wasn’t comfortable with this but he was the only chap in the shop, and clearly it would make no difference what I said, he wasn’t going to change his mind.

Saturday morning I went back to the same shop.  Three people working behind the counter now and I approached an older guy I knew was more experienced, and helpful.  I showed him the slip.  “Yes”, he said.  “I wondered when you might be in.”

He’d seen this slip, immediately recognised that the scanning machine had had a moment, and as such the bet was Void.  Now, can you imagine if that had happened to be one of those rare slips where we land six or seven of the seven selections – the big payout we’re all wait patiently for, and I hadn’t checked first that the slip was all ok?  I’d be partying like the fella in The Wolf of Wall Street, dancing in to pick up my four figure return, only to be told that the bet was void!  Seriously, I think I’d have had a fit.  And if I ever got my hands on that young chap who insisted that everything was ok with the bet…I’d..I’d…well, I’d tell him exactly how frustrated I was, and in no uncertain terms! (he’s bigger than me – always good to recognise your own limitations, eh?).

As it happens, four of the matches on the slip were called off, and the other three teams lost.  Thank God for the Void.

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