Thursday, 1 October 2009

Too Good To Be True?

I had an interesting comment on the last post, concerning a situation where 1.06 was available on a completed tennis game in Tokyo. I've cautioned on here before that "if something looks too good to be true, it probably is" but the key word there is PROBABLY. If you have confidence in your data, be it a web page, TV pictures or (unlikely) your morning paper, then act on it. In my five years on Betfair, I have seen some strange things.

In April 2004, less than a month after I joined Betfair, there was a football game that was scheduled to kick-off at midnight English time on a Saturday night. About five minutes before KO, I was thinking about a bet, and was looking at various web sites, and happened to see a result from that day of a game between the same two teams. I don't remember the teams, but I do recall that it was a 1-1 draw. It seemed too good to be true, and I only had £100 or so in my account, so I only 'risked' £20 on the match odds market. I was about to risk a bit more when the market suspended, and sure enough, two hours later I was paid out. Unbelievable, and maybe unethical of me to not say anything, but none of us are perfect. I've not seen a similar situation in all the years since. I think what had happened was that the kick-off had been re-scheduled for some reason, but no one had told Betfair.

On 3rd October, 2007 there were some strange happenings on a baseball play-off game. I was actually first alerted to it by a post on the forum when someone pointed out that a large sum of money on the overs had been taken at a bad price. I checked the graph, and sure enough, a four figure sum had been matched. On a whim, I stuck an offer out there, and someone else posted on the forum a joking comment that there was new money available if the backer wanted some more, but when I went back to the market, my four figure lay had gone! Now I can't recall the prices exactly or the teams even, but the gist of it was that the game was more than half over, and was low scoring making my lay of about 1.7 on over 8.5 a poor bet to take. But someone took it, and then some more that I put out there. At this point I became a little concerned that my pictures were hugely delayed, and was waiting for a grand-slam to happen, but it never did. A few minutes later, another poster on the forum asked "Why is the price on overs so high when there's 7 runs been scored?" - (I was covering) - and someone else replied "Er, it's 2-1 mate". Whatever source the guy was using was wrong, and one of my better days on Betfair.

Those are two of my best tales, so far as betting is concerned anyway. If any happen these days, I tend to write about them at the time, but these occasions are very rare. There's the occasional 1.01 left over at the end of a middle of the night event, or a baseball game tied at 4 where the overs is 8.5 and money is still available to back!


Anonymous said...

this has happened to me when watching a boxing match once - i was watching it live on telly, and after each round ended there wd still be money available on ko in the previous round market. so each round i was taking all the money remaining, pretty good fun!

Anonymous said...

One of the big problems with betfair is their lack of managing markets and allowing punters to get fleeced when the result is known. And you know only too well if the thieves got fleeced they'd be complaining to bf as much as they possibly could.

Sadly it's just a reflection of real life with chancers justifying their actions by if they didn't take it someone else would, just the same as if they didn't mug the disabled guy someone else would.

Cassini said...

Anon(1) - you might check the odd/even total points on American Football too. These are little watched markets that you can often buy money on.

Anon(2) - I think I'd prefer the analogy of picking up a £20 note from the pavement rather than mugging a disabled guy! I would do the former, but not the latter. Incidentally, I have been caught out by a "known" result being amended after the game had finished, and that cost me way more than the £20 I made in 2004.