Sunday, 20 April 2014

French Open update

Stan has contracted to a best price 12/1 for the Paris gig which starts in five weeks' time. I believe that price (available with Spreadex) is worth taking if you missed yesterday's 16/1. Another reason for his price reduction, other than his defeat of Ferrer, is the injury to Djoko's wrist. The latter is as short as 5/4 to win the French Open despite the need to be out of the game for sometime which puts his participation in the second grand slam in some doubt.

Can we exploit the market given Djoko's short price? Whoever wins the Monte Carlo final today will be ranked the Swiss number one and hence the world number three. I think it's unlikely that the two Swiss players will be ranked anything other than three and four at the start of the French. Djoko is not really a value lay on betfair as he has already drifted to 4.4 and could of course recover.

Therefore I think it is worth taking Federer each-way too in the belief that either he and/or Stan is extremely likely to be drawn in the opposite half to Nadal. I have had:

1pt ew Roger Federer to win French Open @ 18/1 Spreadex (1/2 odds 1/2)

If you cannot access 18/1 I would take 16/1 available in several places.

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

French Open

Could Stan win the second grand slam as well as the first? After some moderate results immediately after his Australian Open triumph he is playing well again. He took care of David Ferrer in straights sets today (Monte Carlo). Ferrer had been playing well too and surprisingly beat Nadal here - the first time he has beaten him on clay for something like ten years. 

I've had:

2pts ew Stan Wawrinka to win French Open @ 16/1 Paddy Power (1/2 odds 1,2 NRNB)

Four points staked.

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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

The Charlton Arms

Today I had my first visit to The Charlton Arms (Ludlow) since the new owner has been in situ. It's now owned by Cedric Bossi whose brother Claude owned Ludlow's Hibiscus restaurant (a two-star Michelin establishment) which relocated to London in 2010.

The place has certainly been smartened up since the last time I was here. Chose a restaurant seat with a lovely view overlooking the river.

To start I went for the prawns with chorizo, garlic, white wine and chilli. Served with bread in a skillet. Pipping hot (temperature) and plenty of flavour. To follow I selected the Welsh sea bass served with new potatoes. The fish was cooked perfectly.

Found it a little odd that I was not offered the wine list. However this may well have been because I was already enjoying an excellent pint of Hobson's Best (tasty but moderate strength - 3.8%).

Other than a slight hiccup with the bill it was an excellent lunch, one that I would recommend and hope to repeat soon.

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Sunday, 13 April 2014

US Masters

Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar are the bookmakers' market leaders as the final round of the US Masters approaches. Yet I believe there are reasons to oppose both. Bubba was five strokes clear of the field after an eagle at the second yesterday. Now he is joint leader. Despite having God on his side you could argue that he has already blown up. His driving could keep him in contention today - although his putting on the quickening greens could let him down. 

Matt Kuchar, although in great form, has been over par in his last four final rounds on tour and that could happen again today as he is in contention.

I've gone for a four-man portfolio in what is a very open affair:

1pt win Rickie Fowler @ 12/1 Paddy Power

1pt win Jonas Blixt @ 12/1 Paddy Power

0.5pt ew Fred Couples @ 80/1 Paddy Power (1/4 odds 1,2,3)

1.5pts win Jordan Spieth @ 5.9 Betfair Exchange (5.655 after commission)

4.5pts staked.

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Monday, 7 April 2014

Champions' League

I thought Chelsea were a bit unlucky to concede three times in Paris last week. I think they could still come through their tie at Stamford Bridge tomorrow. Certainly if anyone can turn it around it is Mourinho. He is not blessed with the greatest strikers - Torres (no goal in last seven matches), Eto'o and Demba Ba - but maybe Schurrle or Hazard can score. 

Anyway I have had the following small investment:

1pt Chelsea to win 2-0 @ 8/1 Coral

0.5pt Chelsea to win 3-1 @ 16/1 Coral

0.5pt Chelsea to win 3-0 @ 18.5 (16.6/1 after commission) Betfair Exchange

Two points invested.  

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Davis Cup update

My two selections have reached the semi-finals, which are:

France (9/2 ew) v Czech Republic

Switzerland v Italy (33/1 ew)

The ties take place in September. With home advantage France are probably slight favourites ahead of the Czechs to reach the final. (Depending as always on who is fit of course).

Italy have a tough task in Switzerland though - I doubt that the Swiss will be choosing clay! However we have seen that Stan can be vulnerable, although not vulnerable enough yesterday for my bet against him.

Profit figures updated this morning:


Sunday, 6 April 2014

Davis Cup

Switzerland are in a perilous position in their tie trailing Kazakhstan 1-2. 

This is a huge surprise as they were expected to come through comfortably. Wawrinka lost his opening singles on Friday and then teemed up with Federer to lose the doubles yesterday. So that's six hours play in two days' losing matches. 

He takes to the court again at 12:30 to play Kukushkin who was not involved in the doubles yesterday. On rankings alone it should be a stroll. World ranking number three plays number 56. However Stan has looked nervous in front of his home crowd and of course should he lose the Kazakhs go through.

The H2H could be seen as irrelevant as they have not met for four years and Stan has improved so much in recent times. They last played in 2010. Stan won comfortably at the US Open. Then a couple of weeks later they played in the Davis Cup. Kukushkin won in five. Very speculatively I have had:

2pts Kukushkin to beat Wawrinka @ 11/2 Bet365

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