Thursday 19 December 2013

Oh What a Night

Almost a year ago, I wrote this, and it is time for the 2013 version:

Green All Over is all over for another calendar year, as I set sail for some family time where finding time to blog and invest will not be a priority. My parents are now even more "well into their 80s", still kicking, but a little less vigorously as each year passes. In addition, late December 1963, made famous by the Four Seasons, saw the arrival of my sister into the world, and thus she reaches the half-century mark in a few days. I can only imagine how that landmark must feel, ahem.

For those of you in the FTL (sponsored by TFA), keep the emails coming, and I shall update the numbers upon my return to normality early next year, normality referring to my routine rather than my mental state, which I am told is anything BUT normal.

So a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of you, and I look forward to provoking, teasing, irritating, entertaining, boring, educating, infuriating and (perhaps) amusing you in 2014.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Table Updates 18.Dec

The currently profitable entries in the FTL (sponsored by TFA) after last weekend's matches are:

The big gainer of the week was Peter Nordsted's Drawmaster, which made 8.84 points and moved up eight places and into the money. Fedslam moved up a couple of spots, Cassini's Value Selections dropped a place, and the big loser at the top was Jamie A who slipped from fifth to ninth. Leader Emp was inactive.

The middle of the table, those down, but by less than double digits, are:
The winners here were my XX Draws which moved up seven places, and Fairfranco who moved up six places. It was a nightmare weekend for Matt at Football Elite with nine losses from ten selections and his best result being money back on a Draw No Bet. The frustrations of Matt were evident in his Monday update email, with some subscribers apparently not too happy. Punters' Friend Neil dropped six places and Webbo four places.

The basement dwellers, those down by double digits are notable for the presence of professionals The Football Analyst and Premier Betting. The 'top' two here are actually several points clear of the "Final Four".
There is still a long way to go in the season of course, but to see The Football Analyst down in 19th place as we reach Xmas is probably a surprise to many. Premier Betting's Official entry slipped to the bottom of the table as Scatter Gun took a second week off.

The prize money situation is currently:
  1. Skeeve ( £250) 
  2. Fedlam (£125)
  3. Hofs Hackers (£75) 
  4. Drawmaster (£50)
The Football Analyst's "Bounty" liability is £325, with 13 eligible entries currently ahead of him.

Over in the NFL, John Walsh's woes continued this weekend losing another 2.47 points.
On the ice, it's a different matter altogether, with his fine run continuing:

Sunday 15 December 2013

Draw Convergence

After sending out my XX Draws email on Friday, I was initially rather concerned to receive a reply from Peter Nordsted saying that my selections were almost identical to his own. As followers of his Account Bets will know, heading into the weekend Peter's Official bets are down 22.54 points on the season, a -17.34% ROI, and to think that my selections were similar was alarming. Fortunately, a re-reading of the email made it clear that Peter's comment referred to a comparison of my draw selections with his own Drawmaster selections, and my heart rate returned to normal upon this realisation.

Fortunately for both of us, this convergence appears, so far at least, to be justified. Of the games played to date, Drawmaster has hit five winners from nine selections, while the XX Draws have hit five from eleven selections. Matches in my list but not Peter's were Friday night's Montpellier v St Etienne which finished 0-1, and any binary result is pleasing on some level, and Ajaccio v Lorient, which at 1-2 was not so pleasing, Almeria v Espanyol (a perfect 0-0 draw) and the Aston Villa v Manchester United 0-3. Peter had the Hull City v Stoke City game in which I had the value on Hull City with my price on the Tigers at 2.04 but available at ~2.32. It wasn't to be. There are still more games to be played, including the in-progress Tottenham Hotspur v Liverpool game which has just gone 0-3 and looks highly unlikely to help either of us.

I mentioned Peter's Account bets going into the weekend were down 22.54 points, but coming out of this weekend they are -33.54 points, and falling into last place after all eleven selections this weekend lost. His FTL selections dropped 5 points to -20.56 points, with the reduced losses due to eliminating Half-time bets and consolidating bets on Unders or Overs into one. As I have said before, if there is value on either of these bets, there is nothing to be gained by backing in more than one of the 1.5, 2.5, 3.5 etc. goal markets. Just find where your risk tolerance is best suited, and stick with it.

It wasn't a good weekend for the rest of the Professionals. Football Elite had ten selections, of which nine lost and one was a push.

Skeeve had one double bet, but neither Kidderminster Harriers (v Alfreton Town) or Southend United (@ Torquay United) could win.

The Football Analyst's fared best of the pros with seven selections for two winners and five losers and a (probably) small loss although the official numbers aren't yet available.

For the second consecutive week, Scatter Gun was idle, and no selections this week from Forza Fizzer or leader Emp.

An update later when the numbers are all updated.

Friday 13 December 2013

Retarded Markets

 A couple more comments on the fixing discussion. Emp wrote:

Cassini is dead right. Especially about this sort of thing being proof of "good faith" amongst fixers.
Secondly, as Hawkins book notes, our markets are very robust and we don't allow bets on retarded trivia like "player x to be booked" or "number of passes made by player z to player y" and stuff like that. Asian markets focus on the main action, which is necessarily tougher to fix.
While Peter added this:
Has Ellis never heard of bookings markets or does he assume everyone bets with Ladbrokes and their £2 limits. I've never had problems getting relatively large bets thru the bookings markets in the past and I'm sure others haven't either due to the two way trade the spread firms used to take.

It's been shown plenty of times in the past with match fixing that very little 'trade' ever comes thru to the UK bookmakers and is usually centered around the illegal Asian betting markets where pretty much any bet can be accommodated.
It takes a very naive view to imagine players are paid to get a card where the perpetrators have no way of cashing in, but then again we'll always have people like Ellis and Sports Trading Life to fill the gap.
While I'm not sure the official, or politically correct, term for fringe / novelty / side markets is 'retarded', I do tend to agree with the sentiment. I joked about Betfair having 'approximately 972 markets' for a top football game, but I make it 81 with a quick count on Betfair's Manchester City v Arsenal game this weekend. 81 markets seems a little excessive with plenty of overlap, and a day before the match, just 8 of these markets on the world's leading exchange have seen more than four figures traded. 

Several markets have seen absolutely nothing traded, and one can't help but wonder if Betfair wouldn't be better served by focusing interest on the serious markets. A rough and ready calculation shows that about 92% of the money already traded on this match was on the Match Odds market - with £267k. Next market in liquidity? Correct Score with £7k, followed by the Draw No Bet with £5.8k. Not a scientific study by any means, and I actually expected the Under 2.5 market to be higher than its fifth place and £2k traded, but it does show where most of the money and interest is, and it is not in "retarded" markets.

For the edification of Ellis, there are actually quite a few markets related to cards offered by Betfair on this game- six in fact, with a grand total of £191 traded as I write, all of it on the "Sending Off?" market. Whether or not other markets, whether legal or illegal, offer more bets I have no idea, and unless I become a referee, it is highly unlikely that I will ever be interested. 

Interesting that Emp says "Asian markets focus on the main action", while Peter claims that "pretty much any bet can be accommodated in the illegal markets there".  

Any bet in terms of size, or any bet as in "will Player X get a yellow card in the nth minute?" 

Thursday 12 December 2013

Confusion Fixed

Ellis Rayner has an opinion (albeit a wrong one) on the spot/match-fixing story and my post yesterday:

I think you and Sports Trading have missed the point. This story is bullshit, you cannot, major finals aside, bet on any random player to be yellow carded, whether during a match or in a timed window.
You say, or at least imply, you don't bet on things where inside knowledge, of which you have none, could play a part. Yet you are happy to make comments about markets (which don't exist) about which you have zero knowledge!
While the exact details of he alleged fixing are not yet publicly known, I haven't read any suggestion that the alleged spot-fixing was to allow anyone to necessarily profit from a "bet on any random player to be yellow carded", and nor did I say that was the case. It's nonsense. Even Betfair with their 972 (approximately) markets on a top level football match don't have this one!

So while I, and others, seriously doubt that this is the case, I am struggling to find where in my post I made a comment about a (probably non-existent) market of which I (by definition) could have zero knowledge.

And quite frankly, as long-time readers of this blog will know, if I have zero knowledge of something, it means it doesn't exist. What do I know about god, for example? Nothing. 

What I actually wrote was that "cards affect markets", and if there is any doubt about this, the importance of a red can be inferred by the fact that Betfair suspend trading if a red card looks possible, and clears any bets if a red is confirmed. 

I think Ellis, and indeed Sport Trading Life, have missed the point, which is that if you know a team will collect yellow or red cards, that knowledge gives you an edge in markets which actually do exist. 

If you read the articles and seriously thought the fixer was profiting from betting on "any random player to be yellow carded, whether during a match or in a timed window" you should probably quit gambling. Indeed, it is quite possible that the fixer was simply proving to others his ability to 'buy' the player in question, and use that to his advantage later. Ellis' interpretation is way too simplistic I'm afraid. 

For the record though, yes, I am happy to comment on markets that do exist, and I am also happy to confirm that I make no comments about non-existent markets.

Here's more on the affair from even more of an expert than myself:
As Ed Hawkins, author of a gripping book on the scale of the problem in cricket (Bookie Gambler Fixer Spy), has pointed out, there is no way of wagering large sums of money on outcomes such as a yellow or red card on the legal betting markets in Britain. All are tracked by the major bookmakers and, increasingly, by monitoring firms on behalf of the biggest sports.
Any substantial bet of more than, say, £200 would immediately arouse suspicion and could lead to the market being pulled. Nor is there any evidence that it is possible to place bets on yellow or red cards in the $500bn grey and illegal market in Asia and the Far East.
At least Peter understood my point:
To suggest match fixing at whatever level has no effect on the outcome is laughable and shows their knowledge of betting. Sports Trading Life is just one of those blogs hoping to make it's money via affiliate and click thru money. I can't imagine anyone takes a blind bit of notice of the crap they usually post.

For them it's all about key words hoping for new visitors, I doubt even they read what they've written :)

Wednesday 11 December 2013

Sensible Advice

Sports Tradng Life have a post about the recent match-fixing scandal, and has a quite different take on the subject than I do. The post basically suggests that it is 'only' spot-fixing, not match-fixing:

So far it seems like it is just players fixing yellow cards which does not really influence the overall result of the match. Unless you punt on the “Shown a card” market then this should not really affect you in any way.
Well, that's OK then. Boys will be boys. Punching someone repeatedly in the groin for no apparent reason is OK. 

"Does not really influence the overall result of the match?" Are you kidding me?

Of course cards affect markets and how players play the rest of the game. If they didn't, there'd be little point in having them! In the event of a yellow, the player is on a final warning, and thus needs to be extra careful to avoid a second one, and in the case of a red, his team are at a disadvantage. The impact of cards can vary of course. A yellow card late in stoppage time is one thing, a red card in the first minute is quite another.

The post continues:
To fix the result of a match you would need several players to all be in on it and while there are some players that might need the money you can trust that the majority do not.
Spot fixing is another kettle of fish and something that can easily be fixed but these will usually be only things that can not affect the result. If you are sensible you should not be getting involved in such markets unless you had inside information anyway.
If you stick to the highest level of any sport you punt on you do also lower your chances of any corruption. At the highest level, it is much less likely you will find players who need the money to such an extent that they will cheat to get it. The other main reason you should only punt on the highest level of any sport is the consistency of the players. This is much better from a punting perspective and you should only really be punting on the lower levels if you have inside information.
To sum up, unless something comes out where we discover a match result or a total number of goals has been fixed in a top level match then there really should be nothing to worry about from a Betfair trading perspective.
"If you are sensible" is as useful a piece of advice as to back the Overs just before a goal is scored. With World Cup Finals matches previously the subject of concerns about fixing (2006), and recent claims that some 2014 World Cup Finals games were to be targeted (one can reasonably guess the country involved), might the suggestion to be "sensible" mean that you limit your betting to the quadrennial World Cup Final game? 

League One and Championship matches are not the Romanian Third Division South (if there even is such a league), but many (most) traders see them as being above the level where one might reasonably expect corruption.

Whatever your interest is in games at these levels, whether you trade these matches, have a punt on them, or just watch them, I think there is plenty to worry about. 

What Betfair traders should be worried about is legislation that outlaws in-play trading on sports as a result of this or other investigations. The Gambling Commission study of 2009 found no reason to ban it at that time, but with more cases like the ongoing one, it's not inconceivable that there might yet be a regulatory change at some point. 

I have never bet on cards for the same reason I don't bet on horse racing - I will never have an edge in these markets, but I do have the occasional punt on lower league and even non-league fixtures, and I want these matches to be played cleanly. I don't see the issue as something to be taken as casually or as lightly as Sports Trading Life

Specialist Subject

An enjoyable review of this very blog found over at Betting Tools. Some highlights:
Many a reader have read the first blog post up to the present day and found it to be one of the most educational and valuable betting resources on the internet.

Cassini is a true student of the betting game and there’s very little he doesn’t know about his specialist subject.

Cassini has a very witty and dry sense of humour

Cassini ‘s writing style is authoritative and at times borders on arrogant.

It’s very difficult to come out on top in a heated debate with Cassini but if you do find yourself embroiled in one, stay hydrated.
In the interest of full disclosure, the site is owned and operated by Webbo, an FTL entrant who, after at one time being down 13.73 points is now in profit after five consecutive profitable rounds.  Brian also runs his own Tipster Table, and it looks a lot more professional than my amateur spreadsheet!

Tipster Updates 10.Dec

Above is the FTL (sponsored by TFA) after the weekend's results. It's not often the leader doesn't change, but Emp retains first place ahead of Skeeve who is in line for £250. Jamie jumps four places into third place (£150). Cassini's Value Selections remain fourth while Fedslam drops three places to 5th (£75). With an ROI of 6.66%, what the devil is he playing at?  

Other big climbers were Football Elite who moved up three places and the Bundeslayga selections who moved up four places. Fairfranco was up two places while the notable fallers were my XX Draws (down four places) and Murphy's Law (down three places). Down two places were Hofs Hackers (£50) and Graham C. The Football Analyst moved up one place and his bounty liability now stands at £300.  Scatter Gun in 23rd place was idle.

In the NFL, John Walsh had another tough weekend:
but his NHL selections are excellent:

Sunday 8 December 2013

Any Given Sunday

Emp had this to say on my last post:

I'm mildly amused that back the huge underdog blindly is actually a "winning strategy". Probably has to do with punter psychology. I read somewhere that backing anything which goes to 1000 in play (excluding in play horse-race markets with front-running) generated pretty decent returns.
While I don't touch horse-racing, it has long been a strategy of mine in other sports to take advantage of people willing to back at prices that are too short in-play as I have written before. Football prices move predictably, so the strategy doesn't work there, but in true trading sports, it's a long-term winning strategy. 

Watch the price bounce back after a touchdown or after a basketball team goes on a run. Of course this won't work if the touchdown scoring team is up big with little time left, but if the pre-game underdog scores first, greed drives the price too low, before the fear kicks in and the price bounces back. Similarly in basketball, you need enough time left in the game. A run leading to a lead of 20 points with 10 seconds left isn't going to do you much good, but a lead in the teens or even twenties with enough time left is an opportunity. The key is that you don't need the lay to go on to win. You simply need the price to bounce and you can lock in your profit after a tick or two or let it run as your risk tolerance allows. Lay £10,000 at 1.01 (risk £100) and a bounce of one tick to 1.02 allows you plenty of options to lock in a decent profit.

Saturday 7 December 2013

Emp Strikes Back

In my last post, I wrote that:

Whenever there are a couple of ‘surprise’ results such as these, it is natural to think that the key to football betting is to bet the outsider, but while these relatively rare wins unsurprisingly gain attention at the time, as a long-term strategy, it is doomed to failure.
The surprise results in question being the likes of Evian Thonon Gaillard's defeat of Paris St Germain, Sunderland's defeat of Manchester City or Hull City beating Liverpool.

Emp appears to have taken this comment as a dig at him personally, but this was certainly not my intent. My comment was meant to highlight that profitable betting is never as simple as always backing or laying favourites, second favourites, long-shots. In fact, the idea of backing a selection solely because of its price or its price range / band is fundamentally flawed. Essentially you are making your decision based on what other people are doing. A selection should be made because your estimate of its chances of winning exceed those of the market. Trying to reverse-engineer selections based on the prices on offer is counter intuitive.

Hypocrite! I hear you say. What about your Bundeslayga system? Indeed, this is an exception to my 'rule', and one where selections are determined by price range, even if the price range is pretty big! It's proven profitable for several seasons, and used more as a Premium Charge mitigation system than one that will make me rich. Last season, for example, there were 90 selections, and a return of 13.11 points although if you had the time to apply the principles to other favourites in the Big Five European Leagues, you could have made 87 points from 1,340 selections.

Anyway, I digress, and here is what Emp had to say:
While I agree that blindly betting on outsiders is, of course, doomed to fail, I am not sure these sorts of bets are inherently bad. In fact I doubt any sort of price range is an inherently bad one to bet on, though I am not sure if that's what you meant.
In either case, it's hardly the only long-shot I've picked. I did get Reims on a long-shot earlier as well as several winners at 5 or 6 (including Everton in the mid-week). In a league where being at home is such an advantage, the price did seem a bit off on Evian, and as for United, they are actually weaker than Everton according to my system, though that might prompt some laughs.

Before this weekend, I do still have Manchester United higher than Everton in my ratings, although that might be in jeopardy should Everton win at Arsenal tomorrow. 
My comment on backing the outsider may have been written a little hastily. Looking at last season's EPL, and using Pinnacle's prices, backing the outsider in the Match Odds market would have generated 19.01 points of profit. Unfortunately for anyone thinking this is the key to success, Queens Park Rangers win at Chelsea generated 16.1 points in one fell swoop, so the difference between that profit and and the smallest of profits comes down to one goal, and the prior season is similar. With no Pinnacle prices, I used the average prices, and 2011-12 saw a profit of 28.72 points, with the biggest return coming on New Year's Eve when Blackburn Rovers won 3-2 at Manchester United at 22.98 and Aston Villa won 3-1 at Chelsea at 11.78. If you were away and missed that day, your season's returns would be a lot different!  

Dream Wife

You know you are spending too much time on maintaining the FTL (sponsored by TFA) when your dreams include one about Peter Nordsted, who, and I kid you not, flew with his wife to Long Beach in California to meet up and discuss his College Football strategy with me. Why Long Beach, I have no idea, since my familiarity with the city is pretty much limited to attending one wedding on the Queen Mary there about ten years ago. The mind, or at least my mind, works in mysterious ways, and I remember being impressed that Peter could drive so naturally on the ‘wrong’ (right) side of the road, as I sat in the back listening to his ideas. The reason why Peter may have featured in my dreams could be because his midweek account bets did rather well, mostly on the back of Aston Villa’s rather surprising win at Southampton. He selected Villa to lead at half-time as well as full-time, and at prices of 6.5 and 6.0 respectively, these winners helped Peter make a profit of 10.05 points for his service. Still down on the season, but a step in the right direction. Incidentally, Peter’s dream wife – by which I mean Peter’s wife in my dream and not Peter’s ‘dream’ wife, who I am sure is the lady he is currently married to – is not as fierce as Peter implied in his now infamous “having to ring up and tell your wife you lost money” video.

The other big winner in midweek was Emp, returning after a few days off to make 13.04 points, and back to the top of the table, mostly on the back of Evian Thonon Gaillard’s even more rather surprising win at home to Paris St Germain at 10.27. Whenever there are a couple of ‘surprise’ results such as these, it is natural to think that the key to football betting is to bet the outsider, but while these relatively rare wins unsurprisingly gain attention at the time, as a long-term strategy, it is doomed to failure.

The latest FTL table after the midweek games is here, and then it all starts over again with the weekend matches:

Tuesday 3 December 2013

Tipster Updates 3.Dec

With Monday night's games completed, the FTL table sponsored by TFA has been updated, and as always let me know if you see any errors and I will double-check and update as necessary.

The big winners were Jamie A, whose honesty and integrity was rewarded with an upward move of nine places after a profit of 7.86 points, and even more so was Punters' Friend Neil who moved up 'only' eight places, but made 15.6 points profit from 28 selections. Jamie moves into the money in 4th place overall, while Neil moves very close to break-even which after being down by 28 points two weeks ago is quite a feat. Football Elite moved up five places after making 2.9 points, and Fedslam's upward move of three places was enough to take over at the top.

There were a few idle this past weekend - Skeeve sat out due to the FA Trophy matches, Emp took a break for the second consecutive week, and Forza Fizzer was resting too.

On the losing side, Graham C and FairFranco both dropped eight places after losses of 4.84 and 6 points respectively, while Hofs Hackers dropped five places from first, but still in the fourth money spot.

The Football Analyst trimmed his bounty liability by £50 after making 2.6 points and moving up one place.

So at the top, the first three are Fedslam, Skeeve and my own Value Selections, while at the bottom is Scatter Gun who dropped 6.6 points. Just out of last place are Peter Nordsted's Premier Betting selections, with his official selections dropping another 1.9 points and his FTL entry making 0.07 points.

The XX Draws are mired in mid-table, with two late goals in Spain at Espanyol (88') and Granada (87') not only seeing the draw win evaporate, but also the Under 2.5 goals. We have some midweek selections though, and a long way to go this season.

Not so long left in the NFL though, and John Walsh is having a disappointing season. I've not tracked previous years, but this one is surely not one of his finest. Here are the results since my last update:
John's NHL picks are still in profit, although treading water a little over the past few days:
And for anyone wondering where the updates for NBA Tips are, I have given up. It was quite time consuming, and after finding 11 errors in the recording of the first 91 bets of the regular season, of which the details were never requested so that they could be corrected, there seems little point. Plus the fact that the bets suggested are often with bookies with whom no serious punter would be able to keep an account for more than ten minutes. I don't imagine many serious investors can get more than 20p on with BetVictor or the like.

John Walsh's prices are usually beatable on the exchanges, and readily available, so the returns can reasonably be expected to be beatable.

Sunday 1 December 2013


The hits count on this blog has now broken through the 600,000 StatCounter milestone,

although according to Blogger, the total page views all time is actually somewhat higher than that.
More technical types than myself can probably explain the difference - I think someone in the past suggested that certain page views are not recorded by StatCounter - but if the Queen can celebrate two birthdays, I don't see why this King of the betting blogs shouldn't celebrate two counting milestones! Stand by for the PATH 750k celebration.

It's also a new month today, and while I don't do detailed P&Ls because I don't want my readers to fall asleep, November was the second best month of 2013 for me. November is usually a good month, although 2012 was a small disaster. The NFL and NBA are usually solid, and the football last month has been good, if not spectacular. The XX Draws were up slightly, the Unders was up slightly more, and the Cassini Value Selections were up even more. 

Speaking, as I was earlier, of P&L blogs, I don't see so many of these around these days. Admittedly after almost six years of doing this, I don't search for blogs as actively now as I used to, but I don't trip over them like I used to. 

Some of you will be aware that at the end of the last NBA season, I stumbled across the NBA Tips blog, and although as soon as I started following them, their results went downhill, I made a note to keep an eye on them for this season. It was play-off time and those matches can be challenging.

Sadly, a litany of errors in their record-keeping has called their accuracy and attention to detail into question, and their reluctance or failure to correct their errors calls their integrity into question. Some of you may have seen the Twitter exchange as I try to keep them honest, but here is some more background for anyone interested in the details. 

Leaving aside subjective concerns such as the concern over recommending bets in pre-season games, the silliness of 1/4 point bets, or the often immature nature of the Tweets, here are some of the proven and indisputable errors or inaccuracies.

The number of games played each season was incorrect
A 2 unit loss was recorded as a 1 unit loss

Try writing the below on your betting slip and getting paid out - the Pacers won by 15 (97-82)
Clearly a loser, and no bookmaker would pay out on the above, but the NBA Tips boys then suggest the bet was for the Half-Time result, a rather important detail that was "missed by accident"
"Full time line was around +12.5 at 1.95"? I did indeed check the lines, and here's a screenshot of my Betfair investment from that game:
That Boylesports would have 12.5 as their line seems unlikely. Using the traditional mathematics that I prefer, I make this claimed line of 12.5 further away from the actual line of 7.5 than the 4.5 point line on the bet was! Bet is a clear loser one might say.

I rest my case, but one final point before I go is that cherry-picking the best price listed is one thing, but not many serious or successful investors can keep accounts with the likes of Bet365. Creative mathematics such as the examples shown above might well turn a sow's ear into a silk purse, but hopefully anyone following their 'results' will maintain a healthy scepticism. Their reluctance to correct the above bet to a loss is one serious concern, but their claim to have resolved the other issues I found (at least nine) seems unlikely as they never asked me where the errors were, is another! These 'errors' are all the more puzzling given that there are two people involved, and another set of eyes should be able to catch all, or at least most, unintentional errors. 

On the other side of the integrity scale, credit goes to FTL entrant Jamie A, who noticed that a game where he had two (both losing) selections was only recorded as a one point loss, and pointed the mistake out to me. Yes, we all make mistakes, but sadly not everyone takes responsibility for them and corrects them.

I'm not sure if I have told this story before or not, but the mother of a good friend of mine back in the 1980s used to enjoy a Saturday flutter on the horses at her local bookmaker in Coulsdon. Back in those days, winnings would be paid out in a small sealed brown envelope, and on one occasion she arrived home after collecting her winnings only to find on opening it that she had been paid out too much. 

She returned to the shop to complain.