Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Race Horses, Trainers & Broken Dreams

So you thought you had it bad as a punter...

Give a moments thought to horse trainers big and small. It must be a tricky business to try and make a living. I can't say I have any great connections to the training world. I've helped a few promote their services on our website Horse Trainer Directory. The ones who need that little extra promotion are generally thankful, grateful and appreciative. We promote trainers for free because without them we don't have a website. I live by the mantra: in giving we receive. The ugliness of the self is never attractive even looking in a circus mirror. 

I have known a few trainers in passing. Unless I buy a share in a racehorse or dip my hand further into my pocket to buy a whole horse it is unlikely we will have any meaningful conversations. However, you never know who is interested in what you have to offer and I have been surprised by the generous nature of many people who I wouldn't really expect. I remember receiving a phone call from Peter Doyle, the bloodstock agent, who took the time to contact me about a horse he once purchased called Western Art, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam, in the ownership of Matthew Green and Ben Sangster. This son of Hennesey won at Listed class but struggled with injury at three to a point he was purchased as a riding horse for a lovely lady who I later become friends. I researched Western Art's (Artie) life story: from foal to ''champion'' racehorse. His breeder, Nellie Cox, of Rose Retreat Lodge, in the United States, remembered him well and the two ladies, who both loved him most, had the opportunity to chat about horse and foal detailing those interim years with caring words. 

This story originated from my brother, Tony, a plasterer, who while working on a private job many moons ago got talking to the customer about horse racing. They had a livery business and low and behold ex-racehorse Western Art was stabled there by his owner. It's a small world. 

Western Art stuck in my mind because I follow two-year-old horse racing and, by all accounts, he was a class horse. In truth, racing did this beautiful gelding no favours. He suffered many racing-related injuries which sadly lingered for the rest of his life.

Serendipity. 

By this chance encounter, a story came to life and the opportunity to meet some lovely people who I am still in contact today. Friendship is a creation of coincidence based on shared interests.The love of a horse from a racing perspective and a beautiful thoroughbred who without question was loved most greatly by his last owner who paid the price for others hopes and dreams. 

The pursuit to win. 

I guess it is too easy to consider that every horse trainer is a millionaire. Perhaps money makes its own luck. When you consider leading trainers such as John Gosden, William Haggas et al it is undoubtedly true. They are very wealthy individuals with the luxury of hugely rich owners. For many, money is no object. Their success is an ingredient of money and talent. Others, it is blood, sweat and years (of unpaid work).  

Smaller trainers have to fight for each and every horse, owner and success. Many, I suspect, live a hand-to-mouth existence. The National Hunt has a big heart. The story of a farmer with a horse. Perhaps that is the truth of horse training. The story built on ambition, hopes and dreams. Whether rich, poor or vagrant on the street we can all see through those eyes.  

We have all seen new trainers come and go. Imagine the passion in each individual who follows their dream. Especially so those younger trainers who are reliant on someone backing them financially. Money only goes so far and, I guess rightly so, those paying the bills can be very critical of their performance. Time is never on anyone's side and so often these fledgeling trainers fall by the way. 

Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Bet365 Chief Exec Pays Herself £199m

Bet365
It's tough at the top. 

Founder of Bet365 Denise Coates became the highest paid boss after giving herself a wage of £199m last year. 

The co-founder of the bookmaking firm paid herself the record sum after the company posted profits of £525m for the 2016/2017 financial year. 

The 50-year-old billionaire came from humble beginnings working in her father's bookmakers as a cashier. She started Bet365 website after borrowing £15m against the family's betting shop. Established in a portakabin in 2000 based in Stoke-on-Trent car park. Buying the domain name Bet365.com she built one of the most profitable businesses in Britain. 

Forbes detailed that Coats personal fortune is $4bn (£3bn).

The company has a major stake in Stoke City Football club. 

Recent concerns regarding problem gambling prompted Coats to say:  "Bet365 recognises its responsibility to minimise gambling-related harm and to keep crime out of gambling".

Last year, Bet365 customers wagered $47bn up more than £10bn on the previous year. 

Tuesday, 10 November 2020

5 Ways Psychology can Improve your Gambling

Psychology And Gambling
Psychology – the study of behaviour and mind. I think you will agree it is a fascinating subject because it helps identify knew wisdom, understanding and advancement of the human condition. 

You may have seen the subject of psychology detailed within gambling as psychopathology. Research relating to addiction, which is a problem for many who lose control and betting to a point of harm. I have always been interested in the other side of the coin. How can we use psychology to actually improve our chance of winning? It's a topic of conversation that I have heard very little news. However, I have spent many hours reading psychology books from a quantitative and qualitative perspective and these tips can help you win when betting on the horses. 

1) The chair you sit It sounds a crazy idea but research has shown that the chair you sit when making your tips can be the difference between winning and losing. Or, at least, improving your chances of making it a profitable day. It was found that people sitting on a harder chair were harder negotiators than those who sat in comfort. 

2) Be Careful who you listen to You may not realise it, but you are influenced without knowing. The racing paper, TV channel, opinions and thoughts can easily sway your judgement. If you have good reason to follow your tip – don't be swayed. 

3) Become an expert Can the novice punter be better than the expert? It is said that it takes 10,000 hours or study to become an expert of any subject. Make sure you put in the hours and especially work within a niche. It will give you a huge advantage over the opposition. 

4) I followed that horse off a cliff We've all been there. I bet on that horse the last three times so I can't afford to let it go by today. You probably didn't realise but this is psychology at work. You are much more likely to bet on an old favourite horse that new name because of this previous relationship. However, you need to keep this point in mind as all too often this type of horse disappoint and become very costly to follow. 

5) The Contrast Theory This is worth noting. How many times have you seen one horse beat another only to see them re-oppose next start. Take a look at the betting. The beaten horse is likely to be a bigger prize. Not a surprise you might say. But how big are the odds? The human condition details that we often make mistakes in this area and favour the previous winner much more than we should to a level where the outsider of the two horses is a value bet. If the horse looks to have a reason why it could improve: going, distance, jockey it may be the bet. The next time you place a bet, take a moment to consider how psychology may have helped or hindered your chance of winning.

Friday, 16 October 2020

DAVE ''DEVILFISH'' ULLIOTT: The Life And Times of a Poker Legend

DAVE ''DEVILFISH'' ULLIOTT: The Life And Times of a Poker Legend
I must be one of the few people who don't know how to play poker. It's more to do with not really wanting to play the game. I've won and lost at three-card brag. 

However, that doesn't mean I'm not interested in learning from professional gamblers. I'm not sure where I first heard about Dave Ulliott. It was either on the internet or one of those poker games on TV back in the day. I'm pretty sure it was the latter, although the name ''Devil Fish'' didn't mean too much to me. 

I remember seeing a racehorse with the same name but I didn't put two and two together until about ten years after the date! I'm sure Dave would have come out with a wisecrack about my lack of appreciation of this fine game and his celebrity status as one of the best poker players in the UK (if not the world).

Anyway, I happened to see a video on YouTube about the Devil Fish. I get a feeling it was in his early days of player poker for a living. I will see if I can find a link to the episode as it was a good watch.   

Just found it: Dave Ulliott (DevilFish) Documentary

I enjoyed this gritty video which led me to purchase his autobiography. 

I've stormed through the first 100 pages like the Devil Fish would shuffle a pack of cards. I tell you this if you want to read a book with humour, blood, sweat and tears, then you need to give this a few hours of your time as you won't be disappointed. 

I've not even got to the part where he's playing poker against the best in the world and it's one of the best books I've ever read. 

Anyway, I'm looking forward to reading the rest and update this post with my conclusion (which is pretty much going to say it's one great title). 

God bless, Dave, who sadly passed away long before his time. 

Friday, 2 October 2020

Most Commonly Played Casino Games By Players

The betting industry has been flourishing in terms of financial growth and volume of expansion after the 1990s. When online casino games started, many companies in the gambling industry faced problems in pooling customers and users. The players were used to playing betting games in sports gambling events. It took a while when they got friendly with the online gaming systems. Today in the 21st century, it can be seen that casino games have become highly popular among the players; the following are the most commonly played casino games.

Roulette

Roulette is a famous casino table game surrounded by the players. It is very popular with business people, mostly because they like to take risks. Whenever the dealer spins the wheel, everyone places their chips on the table, so see on whose digits the dice falls on, the person with that number becomes the winner. There are games like no deposit, no bonus, but you should get along with NJ online casino no deposit bonus only when you have all the underlying knowledge. 

Baccarat

Whenever you walk into a casino, few games can be found, no matter what part of the world you are in. Baccarat is the simplest casino game; it is mostly recommended for the beginners to know the aesthetics of the casino and then start playing the harsh games. All you have to do is place your hands on the table when the wheel is spun, whoever's hand is the closest to number nine wins the game. 

Blackjack

Blackjack is the most classic game of casino. Nowadays, modern casinos have developed several versions of the game to keep it creative and engaging. The Classic Blackjack requires skills and talent to win; it does not depend on sheer luck. If the player wants to win, they must beat the dealer at the hands of 21. However, in European Blackjack, the dealer must do a single face-up of the card while the rest of the rules remain the same. 

Pai Gow Poker 

This game is quite different from all other casino games where players have to play against the dealer. In Pai Gow Poker, you have to play against the casino. This half Chinese and half American game requires the players to be allotted seven cards each, and they have to make the best 5 and 2 poker hands. It is a combination of Chinese Pai Gow and American poker, so it has become very popular amongst the players. 

Video Poker

In video poker, the players have to place bets after putting the coins in the video poker machine. It is a game that requires proper understanding and knowledge of the rules. The players shall get five cards, which can be changed if not desirable for players. When the final cards appear on the screen of the machine, whichever player gets the winning hand has to be paid by other players playing video poker. It is an exciting game when you get the hang of it.

Tuesday, 22 September 2020

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.  

Wednesday, 26 August 2020

1966: A Year of Sporting Victories

What a year. 

Like the battle of Hastings in 1066, football fans will never forget the year when England won the World Cup 1966. 

As the quote goes: ''They think its all over...'' Kenneth Wolstenholme's commentary on BBC when England beat Germany 4 - 2. 

He said: And here comes Hurst! He's got...

Some people are on the pitch! They think it's all over!

Whatever your fancy, Sun Bets has lots of great offers.   

It is now, it's four!    

I get the feeling we will have to wait until 2066 to see another FIFA World Cup for our beloved football nation. 

Here is a quick summary of other sporting winners in this famous year.

Tennis: Wimbledon 20th June - 2nd July

Manuel Santana wins the men's final. While Billie Jean King wins the women's. 

Grand National 1966 - Aintree

Anlgo wins at odds of 50-1 for trainer Fred Winter, ridden by Tim Norman. A 20-length victory beating Freddie who was runner-up the year before. 

Gold Cup 1966 - Cheltenham 

Almost as well known as England winning the World Cup, equine star Arkle made this a historic Gold Cup winning for the third time in consecutive years. Tom Dreaper trained this amazing nine-year-old for the Dutchess Of Westminster, ridden by Pat Taaffe at odds of 1/10f. 

More Horse Racing 

Flat racing:

The English Triple Crown wasn't achieved. We had to wait until 1970 for Nijinsky to win the 2000 Guineas, Epsom Derby and St Leger. He went on to win the Irish Derby just for good measure. 

Who won these races in 1966? 

2000 Guineas - Won by Kashmir trained by Mick Bartholomew, French-trained colt who showed class as two. 

Epsom Derby - Charlottown trained by Towzer Gosden. This bay colt won seven of his ten races but retire at four when disappointing in France. 

St Leger - Readers may remember this class horse - Sodium. This son of Psidium was trained by George Todd at Manton in Wiltshire. Sodium finished fourth behind Charlottown in the Epsom Derby and went on to win the Irish Dery in the same year.  

The Boat Race 1966

A long history of the battle of supremacy for Oxford and Cambridge University. The 112 boat race took place on the 26th  March 1966. A tight competition, Oxford won by three and quarter lengths. Cambridge won the women's race. 

1966 European Athletics Championship 

A couple of English victories of note:

Jim Hogan won the Marathon 2:20:04.06

Lynn Davies won the men's Long Jump 7.98 m  

The only two medals England achieved in these championships. 

July 17th saw American runner Jim Ryun set a new world record in the mile timed 3:51.3 

FA Cup 1966

Football fans enjoyed a battle between two tough sides in this final. Everton went on to beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-2. 

Boxing in 1966

29th March - Muhammed Ali defeats George Chuvalo in 15 rounds on a unanimous decision.

21st May - A fight few UK boxing fans will forget. Henry Cooper deserved to beat Muhammed Ali ( Cassius Clay) in their first fight in 1963 with a left hook in the final seconds. The fight was delayed when Ali's gloves had to be changed after a tear (which was later detailed as a deliberate act by his corner). Cooper was outfought and stopped in the 6th round by a technical knockout in 1966. 

Muhammed Ali had a busy year going on to defeat Brian London by knockout in the third round (6th August)

10th September Ali had a tough fight with Karl Mildenberger with a 12th round TKO. 

He concluded the year retaining his WBC heavyweight title knocking out Cleveland Williams in three rounds. 

What's your favourite sporting year?