Monday, 20 November 2017

ATP Finals, autumn recap and 2018 first thoughts

Another profitable tennis tournament result for followers of my Twitter stuff. Only two bets advised: 2pts ew Dimitrov 12/1 WHill (1/3 odds 1,2 ew) and 0.5pt ew Sock 25/1 Paddy P (1/3 odds 1,2 ew). Stakes five points, returns 36 points.

Dimitrov beat my other choice Sock in the semi-final and then beat Goffin, who defeated Federer in the other semi, in the final.

That’s tennis betting finished for 2017 events. It’s been a very profitable year, not least the period from the US Open onwards. The last five tournaments have yielded:

US Open - stakes 10.5 returns 64 (SS/MK)
WTA Singapore - stakes 4 returns 23 (CW/CG)
WTA Elite - stakes 2 returns 0
Fed Cup - stakes 1.5 returns 0
ATP Finals - stakes 5 returns 36 (GD)

Totals - stakes 23 returns 123.....PROFIT 100 points!!

Now take a look at the current Australian Open betting market. The best ew prices about the market leaders are: 3/1 Federer (bad back?), 7/2 Nadal (knee problems), 9/2 Djokovic (motivation?), 11/2 Murray (hip problem). Those four prices add up to 80%. It is still highly likely that one of the ‘big four’ will win the first grand slam of course but I’d rather have an interest in a couple of outsiders. For that reason I’ve had some bets on yesterday’s ATP finalists for the first two grand slams. Full details on my Twitter feed (@Mikedq).

Monday, 6 November 2017

US OPEN recap

As with Wimbledon, I decided the ladies' US Open would be very open and that supporting a small number of selections at big prices could prove profitable. I ignored leading contenders Muguruza, Pliskova and Halep. I swerved the men's event.

My pre-tournament bets were Keys, Svitolina and Stephens. During the tournament I added Makarova to the portfolio.

With Sloane Stephens beating Madison Keys in the final the stakes and returns were as follows:

1pt ew Keys 25/1 (1/2 odds 1,2). Return 13.5 points (losing finalist)
0.5pt ew Stephens 66/1 (1/2 odds 1,2). Return 50.5 points (winner)
1.5pt ew Svitolina
0.5pt ew Makarova + 0.5pt to win qtr.
(3pt hedge/cover bet)

Total stakes 10.5pt, returns 64 pts. Total profit 53.5pts.

(All above bets provided on my Twitter feed @Mikedq)

Monday, 17 July 2017

Wimbledon recap

I always feel a bit of a let down when Wimbledon is over for another year and so of course that is the case today. For me the best matches were Konta v Halep, Konta v Vekic and Nadal v Muller. The men's final was a huge disappointment.

The women's event was unprofitable for me. In what seemed a very open event (with Pliskova favourite - who I did not fancy) my "strategy" was to identify a handful of women at big prices who were in good form. Couldn't get anyone into the final however.

In contrast the men's event was very profitable. I backed three players outright: Federer 7/1 ew (in March), Nadal 7/1 ew and Cilic 28/1 ew.

Full list of bets below. Firstly those with staking advice:

Outright     1pt ew Cilic 28/1 Stake 2pts Return 15pts
                   1pt ew Kontaveit 50/1 Stake 2pts Return Nil
Qtr bets      1.5pts Tsonga 11/1 1pt Pouille 20/1 1st qtr Stakes 2.5pts Return Nil
Match bets   1pt D Brown to beat Murray Stake 1pt Return Nil
                    1pt Fog to beat Murray, 1pt Fog + 2.5 sets 11/8 Stake 2pts Return 2.37 Pts

Total stakes 9.5pts returns 17.37pts profit 7.87pts

Other than the above, which were all suggested on Twitter, I also tweeted a number of bet suggestions without staking advice. This was a rather silly thing to do as there was no indication of their relative merits. The suggestions were:

Men's: Federer 7/1, Nadal 7/1 Women: Ostapenko 33/1, Wozniacki 66/1. Clearly even level stakes on these selections showed a profit but in reality had they been accompanied by staking advice the shorter priced selections would have had the higher stakes. In particular I was very keen on Fed having suggested in March that he would start favourite. This was at a time when Murray and Djokovic were the market leaders, neither of whom reached the semi-finals.

So a profitable event thanks to Cilic and Fed who played a disappointing final yesterday owing to Cilic carrying an injury.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

The Beefy Boys

The rather modest frontage of The Beefy Boys, Hereford

A beef burger is just a beef burger, right? Well some are better than others of course. Having read a very positive review of The Beefy Boys (BB) by "Mr Pernickety" a well-regarded and, as his name implies, a somewhat fussy restaurant critic I thought I should try it for myself. I was in Hereford to check out a couple of films at the Borderlines Film Festival so what better place for lunch, BB being five minutes walk from the Courtyard Theatre where the films were being screened.

It was Tuesday. At around 12:20 I made my way to the restaurant past several empty establishments. Indeed Frankie & Benny's, next door to BB, had a cut-price burger promotion advertised on an A-board but sadly for them no punters as yet. In contrast BB was full downstairs consequently I was shown to a table upstairs. I understand there are long queues at the weekend so a weekday visit is advised: early (or late) lunch was a good idea.

So what's so good about the menu? Firstly the burgers are made from 100% 21-day aged Herefordshire beef. If you know your beef you'll be aware Hereford is one of the best. Burgers are served medium, with some pink, unless you request your burger well-done. Secondly the semi-brioche buns are made by the highly respected Ludlow baker, Peter Cook (from Price's) one of the best bakers in Shropshire.

What to choose? Well a basic burger with few trimmings is £8 whereas a specialty burger is £8 or £9, so the value is clearly with the specialties. I chose the Blue Boy @ £8: blue cheese mayo, pickled jalapeƱos, lettuce, red onion, American cheese, Swiss cheese and bacon. Millionaire fries looked the play as the side: white truffle oil, parmesan, chives, smoked chipotle and mayo dip, £3.50 (plain fries were £2.50).

Not only is the food all locally sourced, there is a fine selection of local beers from the excellent Wye Valley brewery. Their well-known (to me) bitters, HPA and Butty Bach are both available, however I followed Mr P and tried their "1985" lager which didn't disappoint (not tasting anything like Heineken or Carlsburg thankfully).

With the food cost totalling £11.50 this was a very good value lunch given the quality of the food on offer. If you plan to give it a try bear in mind it is extremely busy at weekends and you cannot book a table. Highly recommended.

Beefy Boys website

Fairyhouse December 2016

Not too many Cheltenham pointers here, more a guide to some new (to me) restaurants in Dublin: