The following episode is completely fictional, and any resemblance to any real characters or events is coincidental. It does, however, take into account real situations which sometimes arise in the author’s life.
A rare day off, so over breakfast I peruse the day’s sporting day ahead on Betfair. The morning consists of a couple of tennis tournaments from Doobuy and Marsay. The afternoon brings jumps racing from Camberwick Green and Trumpton, and all-weather on the fibresand at Chigley. The evening is dominated by the return of the UEFA Leyland-Daf Trophy games pitting the, er, 'quite good' teams from Europe’s top leagues against each other.
I review the women’s tennis fixture list, but decide that my time is better spent catching up with a few jobs around the house. I return to the Betfair screen around 1.30, and open up my usual websites for horse racing info, before checking out a couple of blogs for any useful tips. I decide that I’ll keep my stake between £4.00 and £8.00 for each lay. I give the first couple of races a miss, and start with a lay of a favourite on the all-weather, based on the comments on the Racing News website. A nice £8.00 win to start. I work my way through the afternoon, finding seven more races to participate in, six wins, one losing lay of a favourite, and I’ve got a decent day’s profit to take into the evening. I have a break for a few hours, and come back half an hour after the start of the evening’s first batch of football matches. I decide to just keep my eye on the scores and look for any small opportunities. I nick a couple of quid here and there, before reviewing the fixtures for the later kick-offs. Decide on a couple of lays of teams from perceived ‘weaker’ leagues, and settle down to watch the televised game where West London’s Brentford are taking on a Brazilian team with a number of Ukranian players in their side. I have a scare when one of my lays, Henin-Ardenne, take the lead but I hold my position and the Athletic Balboa equaliser is not too long in coming. Two winning lays, and a decent day allows me to happily turn off the laptop at 10.00pm, job done.
Sadly, this fictional text is more hope than accurate reflection of a typical day. Whilst I regularly finish days with a successful final outcome ( for me that’s a P&L in the £50 - £100 range ), it rarely seems to go as simply as the above suggests. The first problem is that, given a choice of jobs around the house or following the tennis, I find myself pulled into the WTA mire ( that’s the ‘Sliding Doors’ moment! ). And often I seem to have an ‘out-of-body’ experience when following women’s tennis. Part of my brain is telling me to lay low, but the instinct to back my selection is too powerful. By the time I finally regain control of my body, the odds have swung against me and I take a disgruntled all-red. My selection immediately fights back and goes on to win in crushing fashion. By the time the racing starts, I’m already chasing profits after a losing morning. I now place £10.00 to £20.00 stakes, and to avoid risking too much of my bank I’m looking for shorter priced lays. And rather than finding eight decent opportunities from three race meetings, I’m now involved in fifteen races. And I’m still in a bad mood from the morning! I therefore endure a stressed afternoon, simply because my liabilities are too high. And if I’m unable to regain my position in the afternoon, I often take that high intensity mindset into the evening’s football.
There’s often satisfaction to be gained from fighting your way to a decent profit. But it would be nice to have a few more easy days along the way.
I’m sure most readers will have seen this latest Visa TV commercial. I’m particularly drawn to it because of the music track – ‘Isla de Encanta’ from the 1987 debut EP ‘Come On Pilgrim’ by the mighty Pixies. Cracking advert.