Wednesday, 19 June 2019

The Perception of the Gamble

Life's a gamble. 

That's what they say.

When people say they don't gamble, what do you think? Wise, stupid, intelligent, absurd? 

I guess when people say they don't gamble they simply mean they don't gamble with a regular bet on the horses, dogs, the proverbial two flies crawling up a wall.

I wonder how many of those people bet on the lottery?  

January 6th, 1996 saw the very first double rollover in the United Kingdom, prompting a staggering 86% of the population of Britain to dash out to buy a ticket!

Strangely, the majority of those people don't gamble. Or they would tell you they don't gamble. 

Well, they certainly did that week. 

The everyday gambler is seen as a mug punter. But as with every aspect of life, we go from the novice to the expert. The main difference between the two is that the expert has worked hard to understand their subject matter. They are wise, efficient and studious. That still doesn't guarantee they will be a winner or make money on their investments. 

Consider how differently you may view these professions: stockbroker, a professional gambler.  

The old stereotypes hit your synapses like a lorry smashing into a wall. 

Well, one is kind of a posh professional, while the other wears a dodgy mac, has a roll up hanging from his mouth and shifty looking. Is that a bundle of notes in his pocket or a gun or a sudden attack of arousal?

I guess you get a few stockbrokers who look the same but both are rather peculiar perceptions. Walter Lippman coined the phrase stereotype a fascinating, intelligent and noted Pulitzer Prize winner 1958, 1962. 

Roll a dice - one or six. What odds would tempt you to bet?

You know there is a price at which only a fool would turn down a gamble. Surely you are not one of those fools?

An example of stereotypes: if I said I knew a French professional gambler you may see an imagine of him riding a cycle, wearing a beret and a string of onions hanging around his neck. 

But that is the thing about the mysterious, illicit, looked-down upon everyday gambler. Look at that idiot, he thinks he can beat the bookmakers. 

Well, I'm here to tell you that's exactly what many gamblers do on a regular basis. The perception is that a bookmaker will always triumph over a gambler. He's the vampire bat sucking the blood out of a nieve punter who doesn't even realise its latched on the back of his neck.

It is difficult to draw the line between where a gamble starts and finished. You are not probably conscious of the gambles you are taking on a daily basis. Perhaps you are. Lucky you...

When crossing the road, few people are stupid enough to walk across without taking a glance left and right. If you are super cautious you may even look in the air for falling pianos and the like.The odds of getting knocked down on the road are real. They don't simply disappear because you haven't given them the time of day. Insurance companies could tell you the odds and they would rob you blind if you asked for a bet on that poor old dear who isn't as nimble as she once was on her feet.

Wouldn't you rather be conscious of the gamble? You may be able to negate those odds, increase your chance of winning or even life a little longer than you thought.

Monday, 17 June 2019

The Punter, his Betting Slip and the Chinese Burn Society

It's a funny, old world. Well, the world, itself, isn't funny in a patronising, critical, irritating kind of way that is usually left to homo sapiens. 

You probably wonder what I am talking about. 

Giving horse racing tips, selling information, it can be a pain in the arse. Why? Because you are often tarred with the same brush as those who didn't make the last person they dealt with feel so good. I am a calm, sensible, logical person who even when someone is plainly wrong I try to see the reason from their point of view. 

I know a lot about horse racing. It is my business to know. I detail some of the best two-year-old horses in training. I give 10 Dark horses. They are, in general, very good. Very, very good. But we are dealing with opinions, flesh and blood, not machines or a science set in stone. 

I felt a touch irritates by recent proceedings. The first dark horse given didn't send because of an issue with Mailchimp who forward the mailings. This horse hadn't raced before and was trained by Richard Hannon for owners Al Shaqab Racing. Its name is Denaar. It won easily, followed up next start and will be heading to Royal Ascot. By all accounts I was correct. 

The second horse I sent, which got delivered, was a horse trained by Mark Johnston called Jive Lady. The reason it was detailed was because the stable had given it a Listed race entry which suggested to me it is a talent. Remember this is the trainer's opinion. If the trainer is wrong I am wrong.

Well, it drifted markedly in the betting. It didn't fill me with confidence. The filly led and then tired quickly beaten a good number of lengths. I was disappointed. it isn't ideal especially after the first horse that didn't get mailed was so bloody good. Even a bonus horse I gave after Validator won comfortable and will no doubt be racing at group level. 

Well, I received a message from one person from over 600+ on my list to say that it was ''a load of crap''... that I was ''ripping people off''. 

Very strange. 

This is a classic case of people reacting to their emotions rather than using logic.  I've heard these things all before. I had someone say the same thing in the past who was even more up in arms about something which basically made no sense.

How can giving something for free be ripping people off? If after 10 Dark Horses people don't want to pay a measly £37.5 a year for hundreds of hours of my work then don't. It makes no difference to me if people join or not. 

The fact what I find ''illogical'' is that someone tries to judge you on one horse. Is it just me or am I missing something here? I could understand it with ten horses. The stupid fact is that I have mentioned three horses and they have achieved three wins from four races and two of the three will be racing at group class. 

Just because the Johnston horse disappointed doesn't mean it has no ability. Sometimes the best horses run terribly on debut. Time will tell. 

In truth, this message and the one received from Mr Someone wasn't actually about horse racing at all. It was about a person's distorted, if not irrational musing, which lacked reason. It lacks reason in the sense that if they had done exactly what I had and responded the way they had I'm pretty sure they would feel rather disappointed by the comments. 

One horse. How can you base some on a solitary finding? I dug one hole and didn't find any gold but the other 99 that I could have done. 

I am fair with people, generous, a hard worker who knows more about two-year-old horse racing than anyone I have met. If someone thinks they no more then come and say hello because I will know I have met another bloody hard worker. 

The day will come when I keep all of my knowledge and money to myself. 

It will be a day too, even if you don't realise, that you missed an opportunity to actually learn something valuable for free.

Now, does that sound like a wise man?

Thursday, 13 June 2019

World Record Slots Winner Takes £13.2M

You need to be brave to fight in a war. But perhaps you need a brave, strong heart to cope with this amazing winner on the slots. 

That's what happened to 26-year-old Jon Heywood from Crew, Cheshire when he became an overnight multi-millionaire picking up £13.2M for a ridiculous 25p stake. 

Who says playing online slots doesn't pay? This Afganistan war hero couldn't believe his luck when he struck gold. 

He said: ''After a tough year seeing my grandad die, the first thing I'm going to do is buy the best possible medical treatment for my father who is waiting for a heart and lung transplant.''

He is also going to spoil himself buying a yellow Bentley Continental GT. 

He drives a Fiat Punto!

Jon continued: "I couldn't believe that I'd won all this money at the time - and it still hasn't sunk in.

"It's amazing. The first thing I will spend it on is the best possible medical treatment for my dad. "That's more important than anything. Family comes first and I'd give all this money back for him to be healthy again."

His good fortune means he's paying for his relatives to go on a Mediterranean cruise.

The win is a world record for the largest jackpot payout in an online machine game. 

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This website is great as it details the best casino offers from leading bookmakers. For example, Leo Vegas give £1500 welcome package and 120 free spins. 

If you are looking for the best free spins deal one of their operators gives up to 300. 

Want all the info? Well, you can find it easily by exploring the Top 10 Fairy Tale Slots.

As they say: ''Enter the enchanting world of princesses and princes, dragons and ogres, fairies and elves. While not what one would initially expect as an online slots theme, fairy tale inspired games to appeal to the whimsical, nostalgic side of players, taking them back to a time of castles in the sky and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow. Developers quickly picked up on the trend, realising that players yearned to be transported to a world of fantasy and away from their harsh realities, hence casinos like Mr Green offer more and more fairy tale slots. Let’s explore the top 10 fairy tale slots out there.''

Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Psychology of Slot Machines

PSYCHOLOGY OF SLOT MACHINESThe old-style fruit machines. 

Just a bit of fun. I doubt too many addicts would agree. However, the mentality of gamblers varies from one extreme to the other. Some bet and walk away, while others simply cannot stop pulling that one-armed bandit or pressing a flashing button until they are broke. 

Interesting how people vary so much. People do their own thing. Some, I guess, are more likely to be addicted to gambling or a certain type of gamble. When over 50% of the population bet, it is a worry for those who realise too late that a ''seemingly'' innocent pastime has cost them their home, marriage and life. 

Fruit machines are one of the most addictive forms of gambling. 

As a child, I used to go to Caister-on-sea for our annual holiday. Every September, missing the first week of the new school year because dad loved his racing at Great Yarmouth. Holidays were cheaper. I didn't like school so I would have opted for one long holiday fifty-two weeks a year. Anyway, the arcade on the holiday camp was ideal for two brothers who liked the look of the fruit machines. It was in the 1970s so we were talking pretty basic stuff. They even had a few of those old, chromed numbers with the Indian head, the class one-armed bandits which these days are collector's items and go for a few grand a piece. We were in our element. A pocket of twopences and motivated by the lights, noise of coins paying out willingly. The smell of hot dogs drifting in the air. Mum and dad listening to the entertainment. Dad with his brown and mild. Happy times. We played those machines with spirit. Not sure, thinking back, what was going through my mind. I guess it was the thought of winning. When you have a pound's worth of change in your pocket anything seems possible! 

Win or lose it didn't make any great difference. Basically, it was fun. I don't regret betting or my parents suggesting it was okay or acceptable. Like father like son. I will be forever proud of my dad.    

In some respects, betting from such an early age may have been a good thing. It brought a realisation that to win at gambling you need to have intelligence and discipline. By the time I was a teenager I was bored to death with fruit machines. I realised they were fixed odds, so long term you simply couldn't win. 

I hadn't played a slot machine in years but thought I'd have a bit of fun on Saturday evening. I use Betfair for betting horses on the exchange but they have everything on the website including online slots. 

I thought I'd bet a tenner. 

Slot machines are very different from the good, old days. But one thing that came to mind was the amount of psychological research which must go into making these games big money makers from casinos, bookmakers or whoever sets these businesses up.

They are made to keep you betting and they have cracked that aspect of betting without question.  

I won £200, so good luck favours the brave. Stopped playing and very much doubt I will be playing for a good few months.  

Sunday, 9 June 2019

Gambler Wins At Grosvenor Casino Great Yarmouth

Great Yarmouth Grosvenor Casino We're back from our annual pilgrimage to Great Yarmouth. 

It's in memory of my late father, Colin and many relatives sadly passed including uncle Fred, Keith, Roy and their friends who loved a bet. 

Avid readers will probably know we go to Yarmouth for fun, gambling and good food. The gambling part takes centre stage although I don't bet big money at the races on holiday compared with working from home. I find it difficult to be as professional as in my daily routines. The caravan I shared with a group of five isn't the most ideal place to contemplate wise bets although I did settle in with the holiday distractions better than I thought. 

I went to a couple of the race meetings and found a few winners which made it worthwhile. 

I missed meeting up with Jerry Banks which is a real shame. Jerry runs the great website called Jerry's Best Bets. He found the winner in the Listed race at Yarmouth, Beautiful Morning, who pretty much sauntered home in style. 

The casino wasn't such a pleasurable experience. I do enjoy the Grosvenor Casino because it is an old listed building with real character and charm. It is a great place to go for a cheap meal. They want to get you through the door and lose your money. I have done well at the casino over the last few years and, believe it or not, won money. This time the roulette wheel was spinning without luck and over three nights took a wedge out of my wallet. Not good. It can be depressing betting, watching that bloody ball stop in a number you haven't picked. 

It seems so easy after it has stopped! 

I'm still winning long term but not a great deal. The casino tempts punters from the races by giving a free drink and free bet to all who take their race badge. Basically, it is like them giving you £10 for free. Considering most people lose it is probably the best £10 they have ever spend on marketing. 

It is interesting watching others gamble. 

You get a real mix of people. Some betting 50p chips, £1 chips...while a few are either there to impress or just don't know when to stop. 

I guess everyone has their limit. 

I've been to the Grosvenor a lot and you see a few familiar faces. I'm pretty sure the majority of their customers are regular bettors. I say that because even mid-week they look a familiar crowd. 

A couple of them pretty big gamblers.

Each to their own. I have chatted to one or two in passing but not to appreciate their background or where they made their money. However, they are clearly not short of cash by the manner they bet. 

One of the regulars is Graham. He dresses in a comfortable fashion which belies how much he bets. He isn't there to impress in the fashion stakes but boy does he get the money out as that roulette wheel spins for its life scorching the veneer while fate decides your fortune. 

Graham didn't have the normal pink chips worth £100. In fact, at first, I couldn't see where he was getting his chips from. The croupier kept pushing £500 of £5 chips in his direction and then five £100 chips. So he was cashing up £1000 a time. I noticed he had a number of light-blue chips worth a grand a piece. 

To be fair, he was having about as much luck as me for the most part. He wistfully placed £500 in £5 chips across the table and lost the lot in about six consecutive spins. He carried on betting regardless if not with extra verve as he started putting the five £100 chips on too hoping lady luck would come smiling after a number of dastardly verdicts. 

Thankfully, Graham hit a single number with one of his £100 chips winning £3500. I heard him mention he was down £6000 before that win. I had seen him on the other table a bit earlier. 

Where do these people get all their money from? I will have to get chatting to him some time although he isn't really my kind of person or at least that is how I feel.  

The fine dining part comes from visiting Pamela's restaurant just around the corner from the casino. A jewel in the crown of Yarmouth. Well worth a visit with exceptional service and gourmet delights. I had one of those cocktails made with dry ice which looks rather spectacular if not difficult to drink as I kept breathing in those fumes. A great few days down Yarmouth. 

Thinking of those loving people past & present. 

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Five Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Races You Won't Want to Miss in June

Five Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival Races You Won't Want to Miss in June
We are approaching the business end of the Brisbane Winter Carnival and horseracing fans can look forward to a plethora of exciting races in the weeks ahead. They will lure some of the finest sprinters and stayers from across Australia and further afield to Eagle Farm to battle it out for fame and fortune. Fans have already been dazzled by the likes of the Doombeen 10000, the BTC Cup and the Doomben Cup. These are the five most exciting Brisbane Winter Carnival races left to look forward to: 

Stradbroke Handicap 

This $1.5 million contest is the headline event of the Brisbane Winter Carnival and it has now returned to its traditional home at Eagle Farm. The distance has gone back up to 1400m for 2019 and it will be a ferociously contested race between some of the top horses in the land. The Stradbroke Handicap odds show that The Bostonian is the favourite to salute, ahead of Home Of The Brave, Encryption, Widgee Turf and Victorem. Tony Pike’s four-year-old has already clinched the Doomben 10,000 and the Kingsford-Smith Cup and now he can wrap up Queensland’s Group 1 sprinting Triple Crown by winning the Stradbroke. The last favourite to win this race was Black Piranha in 2009 and roughies have done well in recent years, so hope springs eternal for the other contenders, but The Bostonian has displayed superb pace and endurance this winter and he is certainly the one to beat after his eye-catching performance at the Kingsford-Smith Cup. 

Queensland Derby

This is the premier staying event for three-year-olds during the Brisbane winter racing period and it has been running since 1868. It will be held at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 8, along with the Stradbroke Handicap and several more top races. The Group 1 Queensland Derby is known as the final three-year-old classic of the season and it boasts a prize pool of $600,000, ensuring a strong field. Recent winners include Dark Dream, Ruthven and Sonntag. Nobu is the favourite to follow in their footsteps after he saluted in the Mizuno Handicap over 2000m last weekend. It was a gutsy performance as he reeled in Carif and lunged on the line to secure the victory. It followed a fine win at Randwick’s Kensington track at the start of May and he is in excellent form ahead of this race, although it will be interesting to see if Carif can gain sweet revenge. 

JJ Atkins Stakes

This Group 1 race was formerly known as The TJ Smith and it also carries prize money of $600,000. It is the final group race of the carnival for two-year-old gallopers, who race for 1600m at set weights. The Autumn Sun won it last year and then went on to win four more Group 1 races and rack up $3.5 million in earnings before he was retired to stud with a service fee of $77,000. “The Winter Racing Carnival is the true nursery of Australian feature racing with so many of the nation’s greatest racehorses showcasing the benefits of racing here,” said BRC chairman Neville Bell. “We’ve had Black Caviar and Winx in recent years and now the likes of The Autumn Sun looms amongst the next wave of stars.” It is another contest with a fine heritage and it has been entertaining the good people of Brisbane since 1893. Reloaded and Accession are among the budding superstars heading the betting for this year’s JJ Atkins Stakes. 

Queensland Guineas

The Group 2 Queensland Guineas takes place over 1600m at Eagle Farm and recent winners include Sambro, Salsonic and Tsarita. It always attracts a talented bunch of three-year-olds from local stables and further afield. Horses with proven ability over a mile and the potential to improve have typically fared well here over the years. Middle distance gallopers with form over the distance, coming off a top three finish in a Brisbane lead-up race, are worth looking out for. You will also find some interesting gallopers that have run in Group 1 company over a mile earlier in the year and look set to relish a step down in quality. 

Tatts Tiara

The Group 1 Tatts Tiara is the feature race on Saturday, June 22, at Eagle Farm, and it will bring some of the classiest mares in the business to Brisbane this year. It is a relative newcomer compared to the grand old races of the carnival – it began life in 1989 as the Winter Stakes and it was renamed the Tatersall’s Tiara in 2011 – but it is already one of the most prestigious contests of the year. It is run over a distance of 1400m and it is open to fillies and mares aged three and older. Recent winners include Tycoon Tiara and Srikandi, who secured the Stradbroke Handicap-Tatts Tiara double in 2015. The Stradbroke is the ideal lead-up to this race, so keep a close eye on developments there, and the Dane Ripper can also yield Tatts Tiara winners.

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Are Betting Exchanges Being Used to Launder Money?

In truth, I could be talking about any betting exchange. I did name the exchange but changed it to the generic because the issue is for one and all. 

I have no proof that dirty money is being laundered by betting/laying on the exchanges, but you can see the logic behind it. 

So why do I even ask such a question?

Take a look at the graph, you see a couple of large(ish) bets placed late in the evening of a given day. I'm not going to name the horse or trainer as it has nothing to do with this subject matter. Two bets were placed on ****** wanting about 15.0 (14/1). I think they were £325 & £347 (around that money). Anyway, this couple of bets popped up and within seconds were taken. 

You may say: ''There's nothing wrong with that?''

True, it could be a fine example of an astute wager. The horse was backed down and returned about 9/2 with bookmakers, so it was a wise bet whatever the background. I was interested in this horse because I was sure it would be backed. I tried to get a small bet at the same odds seconds after. 

Not a sniff.

It may be very innocent. However, thinking about it, I couldn't help but imagine how the exchanges could be used to launder dirty money. 

Is this unfair? 

Well, we have heard that many activities in casinos have been associated with money laundering. Also, Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (F.O.B.T) Have been tarred with the same brush. It is easy to see why they are used because they prove someone got ''lucky'' and they have evidence to justify the cash in their purse. 

Betting exchanges are ideal for money laundering because all you need is two accounts. One to place bets and one to take them (or visa versa). All the person pays is $% commission to make that money bona fide.

Perhaps I'm just a naive spectator to the world of criminals, drug dealers and protection. 

Whatever the subject is one I'd be interested to hear your thoughts.

(Graph is used as example only)