Betfair.com is a success story from the madness of the dotcom revolution, now increasingly visible via a sponsorship deal with Fulham for the Barclaycard Premiership. The company was launched in June 2000 via a publicity stunt that is proving as prophetic as it was provocative. Betfair paraded the streets of central London with a coffin in a mock-funeral, to mark 'the death of the bookmaker.'
The likes of William Hill, Coral Eurobet and Ladbrokes sat back and waited for Betfair to fail. Instead, though, the company has gone from strength to strength. A glance at the betting press shows just how much Betfair has upped the ante. Again and again the company's critics seize the slightest opportunity to condemn Betfair as 'illegal', or a 'menace' to the punter. Meanwhile, the punters continue to register with Betfair, happily leaving the industry to play out its debate over whether what it does is legal or not while they take advantage of its revolutionary betting exchange system.Andrew Black must be turning in the aforementioned coffin, except for the fact that he is very much alive and well. Times have changed and Betfair is turning into the likes of William Hill, Coral Eurobet and Ladbrokes while, somewhat ironically, the latter look to move into the exchange betting business through their purchase of BETDAQ.
Betfair are even reverting to the use of 'traditional' odds, which haven't made any sense since the days of crowns, half-crowns, shillings and (old) pennies, which my parents have told me about. My Dad still dusts off his antique Shove ha'penny board at Christmas, although I can't say it is the most exciting game in the world. It has a surprisingly dodgy past though, with Wikipedia reporting:
In competition games a scoring placement is judged by a referee. In times past considerable sums could be wagered on games of shove ha'penny and influencing the referee – whether actual or suspected – could result in sudden and violent confrontations.Match-fixing is nothing new, and royalty played it too, although not too well it seems:
King Henry VIII is legendarily alleged to have lost large sums to his more dubious drinking companions: 'The privy purse expenses of 1532 show that in January Lord William won £9 of the King at "shovilla bourde," and "My lord of Rocheforde won of the King at shovilla bourde and betting at the game £45." In the following month Lord Rocheford won £41, 12s. 6d. of the King at the same pastime'.Who knew that the founder of the world's one true religion was such a well adjusted individual? The womanising and drinking was already enough to convince me of its merits, but now that gambling is added, well that's just icing on the cake. (Along with his seventh wife, Marie Antoinette, Henry was partial to a little cake too, judging by the pictures). I used to love history at school, but it was all so long ago.
I digress. The big winners from the FTL this weekend were the XX Extended HT 0-0 and XX Classic U1.5 selections. There were no winning draws from the XX Classic selections (the losing run extends to 14) but two of the three this weekend finished with just the one goal, while the Extended selections had four winners from nine selections, and nearly a fifth except for the 90th minute draw-buster at Celta de Vigo. Six of the nine matches were goalless at the half, while in the Bundesliga, I fluked a 3-3 draw. One winner from two for the Bundeslayga system as well.
Pete Nordsted's Drawmaster made a small profit again with a winning draw at Norwich City, but drops to fourth spot. Premier Edge's fate for the weekend is in the hands of Real Betis and Rayo Vallodolid. Currently he has a small profit on the weekend, which will either become a bigger profit or leave him with a loss. Neil took a small loss, Premier Betting made a small gain, and little Al needs a Liverpool draw to salvage something from the weekend after four misses.
And then we come to 20th placed Football Elite who, as has been covered elsewhere, has decided this week to add more selections to the Recommended Selections of which there were seven this weekend. Unfortunately only two won for another losing weekend. What Matt is doing by expanding the number of bets is solid enough. Very similar to my decision to start sending out the Extended XX Draws along with the Classic selections. As it turns out this season, the Extended are up 22 points, softening the disappointment of the Classics being down 9.8 points right now. And the newly (this season) added Bundesliga selections are holding up very well too, just behind the Extended Draws with a profit of 17.3. To date, that has meant an additional 243 bets for subscribers, which they are free to include in their action or not. One thing Matt doesn't do is indicate which Recommended Bets are 'new'.
Here's the table as it stands on Sunday night: