A mixed day yesterday with the Portugal bet going down, but the expected close game earlier between Japan and Paraguay proving lucrative. If you backed the penalty shoot outs in these games as tipped here you are probably hunting for the "Donate" button on this page. Do those actually work? Anyway, as I pointed out, every R16 after 1986 has always had exactly one penalty shoot-out and history tends to repeat.
Hard to believe that there's no World Cup football for a couple of days, after 19 days of at least two matches a day. Just seven competitive matches left and Brazil are 3.6 favourites at the Quarter-Final stage.
This is historically the tightest round of the competition, with 46% of matches finishing as draws, and 29% finishing 0-0. 38% of matches are settled on penalties, and 58% are Under 2.5 goals. African countries have lost all (both) appearances, and Paraguay make their debut.
Only three countries left from the eight quarter-finalists of 2006, with Germany and Argentina meeting again, and Brazil, who lost to France. South America has a record 4 teams in the last eight, twice as good as ever before, and with one team in each match, an all South American semi-final line up is possible. Possible, not probable. While the three former champions are all favourites to advance, Paraguay are not.
More on these match-ups later in the week. Try to contain your excitement.
As you wait for the next round, you could always join in the hunt for Slicer's Holy Grail, because apparently, despite all the evidence to the contrary, and all the hours invested by Betfair forumites in vain to find it, it actually, really does exist!
The race to find it has been won by one of my readers no less. Yes, you guessed it, our friend Anonymous. He writes:
No doubt you're clever enough to figure it out yourself but there is a mathematical edge in those games and it's not that hard to exploit.
As someone on the forum commented, you can be pretty sure that anyone who claims an edge, and is happy to talk about it, is one of three things:
1. Very, very stupid - so unlikely to be in this postion
2. A charlatan - looking to profit from the gullibility of others
3. A smart individual who is attempting to manipulate the market to their advantage
I would add:
4. A sufferer of an attention seeking disorder
Still, credit where it's due, and congratulations are in order for Anonymous and the millions that will soon be his. A fantastic achievement that has proven to be beyond the talent of many other individuals and so well hidden that no Betfair employee has been able to crack it, even with access to Slicer's account history. Very well done.
Your riches are well deserved, and your anonymity will see you avoid the begging letters and tales of woe that plague other winners in life and that would normally be making their way to you at your Kent mansion. Perhaps if I set up a Donate button, you will find it in your heart to help a poor man who has a wedding coming up, a wedding that gets more and more expensive by the day. Perhaps now you have no need to work for a living, you could devote some time to proving Gilbreath's conjecture?
I was about to post this when I noticed a new comment on the subject of Slicer, and it may be of interest to some of you (not Anonymous of course, because he's clearly cracked it). Thanks Strugar:
Well, at least the idea there is something like free money is enough amusing for everyone to try and catch that golden fish; so did I - when first heard of that myth, I spent about a week trying to prove myself to be smarter than probably thousands of betfairians who tried it before... to no avail, of course.
I don't know if you allow links to forums in your blog, but, for further reading, here is link to thread at UKBT, and then threads that annoying bloke with nick "kmabet" subsequently opened at PL and TDP, claiming that he solved "Holy Grail"; all threads caused a lot of interest and discussion, proving that people tend to accept the unbelievable if it promises profit, until realized that kmabet was only a cheater... and, as known long time ago, there is no such a thing like free meal...