Saturday, 1 January 2011

Hello 2011

A new year, but hopefully the new one will continue as the old one ended. December was my third best month ever, behind only the Januarys of 2008 and 2009. On a daily average, it drops to fourth place behind February of 2009, but by any measure it was a stellar month, made all the more exciting because of the relatively disappointing eight months or so that preceded it. The Benford number for December was a rare 9 for those interested in these things.

The last three Januarys have all been very profitable with football so the pressure is on to make it four in a row. Why is January so profitable? Football is in full swing, as is the NBA. American Football reaches it's climax in both the College and NFL formats, and golf and tennis both get underway again. The profits from football are especially pleasing these days. It was a tough nut to crack, but it does seem that some good progress is being made, with more ideas for the year ahead.

February sees the tenth cricket World Cup, and the betting is wide open. India are 4.6 favourites, followed by four teams at 6.6/6.8 - Australia, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Ashes holders England.

No big summer football tournament this year, but there's another World Cup in 2011, with Rugby Union's seventh edition being hosted by New Zealand, favourites at around evens.

As a year, betting wise 2010 was nothing special, being the worst year since I started taking it seriously in 2005 apart from 2007, but how you finish is all important. A 1-1 draw in football is a much different result if you equalise in the last minute as opposed to if you give that goal up in the 5th minute of stoppage time to a penalty after leading for most of the game (yes, I am talking about Crystal Palace at Bristol City last week, month, year) but at least they are still in business. Their future was looking extremely precarious for a time there.

The strong finsih to the year means I am almost certain to be back in the Premium Charge zone but armed with a new spreadsheet, I have a few ideas to at least reduce it, if not avoid it altogether. I tried the tactic of backing the favourite on the handicap and the underdog on the Match Odds market last night, and haven't been caught yet, but I do limit this to the +1.5 or +2.5 basketball markets to reduce the risk. The trouble is that these lines are generally very accurate, which makes me nervous, so I end up trading the Match Odds market to try and cover the gap.

The blog saw a record 437 posts this year - where does he find the time? The average lifespan for betting blogs sometimes seems to be about two months, so this is one of the elder statesmen of the betting blog world. Although some days there's just nothing that springs to mind to write about, I still enjoy taking a few minutes out to post something most days. The number of hits per day is currently around 300, and I've had some nice compliments so I must be doing something right. I should hit the 1,000 posts mark this year, and 300,000 visitors by year's end isn't beyond the realm of possibility. I received a couple of books for Xmas (thanks kids) that may provide some inspiration, although I forgot to take any to the gym with me yesterday, so I was forced to read the small print on the treadmill. I noticed a warning, which said something along the lines of "Stop exercising if you feel short of breath". Er, isn't that kind of the point?

If you're finding value, you won't need luck, but it helps. Be lucky in 2011.

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