Tuesday 14 June 2011

Mouths To Feed

A very pleasing end to the NBA Finals, with the Dallas Mavericks showing that you don't need three superstars to win the Championship, but that playing as a team works rather well. Dallas is an awful city, full of Texans, but it's hard not too be pleased for owner Mark Cuban, star Dirk Nowitzki and veteran Jason Kidd as they won the franchise's first ever title. "Cavs for Mavs" shirts sold well in Cleveland apparently.

It's unfortunate that the NBA season has to end, and even more so with the prospect of a prolonged close season as the Collective Bargaining Agreement between players and the NBA expires. It happened in 1998 too, when the season was reduced to 50 games and as Newsburglar.com puts it:

The league broke the union last time and there is no reason to believe that they can’t do it again.

Many NBA players seem to have no difficulty blowing through the millions they collect. Give sixty percent of your earnings to the government and your agent and $10 million a year quickly becomes $4 million. That $34 million contract is really only worth $14 million.

That’s a lot of money. But when you’ve got four houses, fifteen cars, eight illegitimate children, a twenty person entourage and a few bad investments, it's no wonder some NBA players live paycheck to paycheck.
Indeed, it must be a hard life. As former star Latrell Sprewell once said while turning down down a three-year, $21 million contract extension, "I've got my family to feed". Largely remembered for choking and threatening to kill his coach in 1997 and receiving a 68 game suspension, Sprewell's comment didn't draw too much sympathy from the public, though most of them, I'm sure, were saddened to hear that since retiring, his yacht was repossessed, two of his homes foreclosed upon, and he has been prohibited from seeing his children. Classy.

Sprewell's not the only one with mouths to feed. While my kids are pretty much feeding themselves these days, I do have two dogs to feed, and the loss, or partial loss of an NBA season would not be good news, and it's a situation exacerbated by the possible disruption to the 2011 NFL season.

The NBA season just ended was my best to date, helped by a more cautious approach during the play-offs. After three losing Aprils in the last four years, strategies that worked in the regular season didn't seem to work quite so well in play-off games, but why not? I think the answer was that the fact it was a play-off game subconsciously made me think that I should be able to win more, and I over-staked, often going in too big too early. As we all know after reading this blog, over-staking leads to poor decision making. This year I made a conscious effort to have a profitable April, likely losing some profits in the process, but the psychological boost to my confidence, while worthless in cash terms, was of more importance for once.

I have updated the final results for the NBA Daily Picks site over at Gold All Over. At one time, one of my best (most lucrative) sports was NHL, but the lengthy countdown introduced by Betfair in 2007 pretty much killed liquidity. It was said at the time that the change was to protect clients from Canadian viewers who had 'faster' pictures, but as with games involving the Toronto Raptors in the NBA, or Toronto Blue Jays in baseball, I simply avoided these matches. Yes, there are plenty of Canadian NHL teams, but a Colorado Avalanche - Dallas Stars game isn't likely to have high viewing figures in Canada.

And finally, consider this. In 1976, Montreal hosted the Olympics. The following year, the Montreal Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. In 1998, Calgary hosted the Olymics. The following year, the Calgary Flames won the Stanley Cup.

The 2010 Olympics were held in Vancouver. The 2011 Stanley Cup winners? It's either the Vancouver Canucks or Boston Bruins. It's come down to a game seven on Wednesday night - in Vancouver. So far, the home team was won every game, although Vancouver's three wins have all been by a single goal, including one in overtime. Not too convincing.

A lay may well be the play here, depending of course, on Vancouver's price. Strangely, four of the first five games were won by the team with the fewest shots - including game 3 where Vancouver had 41 shots to 38, yet lost 1-8.

1 comment:

Average Guy said...

Hello again, constant reference to appropriate stake size both here and on other blogs. Do you have a hard rule whereby it's a simple % of bank or is it related to %bank and the odds ? Is there a comfort level of exposure that should not be exceeded (obviously varies from trader to trader) or do you allow your stake / exposure to be affected by your own perception of the likely hood of the outcome ?