Updated: 3424 Other

MIRROR MIRROR ON THE FLOOR.Somewhere at some time long ago, somebody shattered a mirror,following this they experienced a boatload of nasty things foraround 7 years, and then they had a change of fortune. In aperfectly understandable need to understand what

Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

Mirror, Mirror On The Floor

Somewhere at some time long ago, somebody shattered a mirror, following this they experienced a boatload of nasty things for around 7 years, and then they had a change of fortune. 

In a perfectly understandable need to understand what had happened they linked the chain of events in their life and decided the only plausible explanation was the shattering of the mirror.

That is why we handle mirrors with so much care, after all, who wants 7 years of bad luck?

I Owe Everything I Have To Hard Work, Somewhat.

I consider myself fortunate.

I have no formal education aside from a trade apprenticeship. 

I earn a substantial amount more than the average wage as an engineer, although I don't have a relevant degree.

I have had certain breaks appear at almost perfect times which I have grabbed, I have been lucky.

It does pain me to say that, I would like to tell you how all the hard work paid off, that against the odds I powered through but it would be untrue, granted I have worked hard and done some damn awful jobs in my time.

My reward has been more down to chance than I am comfortable to admit.

Indeed I can pinpoint a single meeting with one man 9 years ago at a project meeting that gave me my current situation.

Ironically that very same guy has had a catalogue of unfortunate events happen to him and he now finds himself in a bad way, both personally and financially.

I am lucky enough to be able to pinpoint exactly where things went right for me, I happened to be in the right place at the right time,

I am sure that had I saw a magpie on the day of that meeting, I would attach relevance to it as that's the way we are built.

Don't get me wrong I haven't won the lottery but I appreciate I am lucky enough to have a job I enjoy, that pays well and takes me to new and different places on a regular basis.

There are many people who have worked extremely hard during their life but have simply never been in that place at that time, they simply haven't enjoyed that one moment of fortune,

It is a fact that while people will say work hard and do the right thing and it will pay off, it doesn't always pan out that way, 

Random events happen and if we are lucky we can be in the path of those events, however, we could also have been in New Orleans when Katrina landed.

While we can take steps to maximise our chances, random events are exactly that, no amount of planning or due diligence can prepare one for those moments.

Forever Blowing Bubbles

West Ham UnitedWest Ham United have started the season in bizarre fashion, away from home they are swashbuckling to win after win against the best sides in the country, at home they are losing to Bournemouth.

I backed the hammers on Sunday at a nice price. 

The bet as always was taken because I believed it offered a sizeable edge over the expectation of the event.

 It is very easy for me to sit here and bleat about value after a big winner, however, I would like to explore what value NEEDS to succeed and try and quantify it.

West Ham had already beaten Liverpool and Arsenal on the road this season and while the LIVERPOOL result looks less impressive every week, the win at the emirates was a good one;

The idea that West Ham had a less than 10% chance of winning at the Etihad was in my eyes at least, absurd.

The other side to this coin is the fact that West Ham had already won two highly unlikely away games meant that by virtue of the random nature of football and value, there could be a case for it being nearly impossible to win at City.

Premier League teams traditionally will win around 30% of their away games; this is obviously dependent on the standard of the team, with the better teams winning more often on the road than the poorer ones. 

West Ham is now a massive statistical blip, in theory, they have won over half of their quota of away games already against 2 if not 3 of the teams they would expect to fill the 50% they lose!!

I am convinced that is why West Ham were available at the price they were. 

Bookies aren't stupid and they usually dangle the carrot but keep a firm hold on the stick. 

City underperformed and LUCKILY for me, West Ham were able to take full advantage.

 On Sunday Liverpool underperformed against NORWICH CITY but unfortunately (I backed the canaries!) while Norwich took a point the bet went down, they outperformed the market just not by enough to get me paid.

Underperforming, Overperformers

Flat RaceI had a 33/1 shot touched off in the Ayr Gold Cup, the second 33/1 shot I have had go down by a fine margin in the last 2 weeks,

Both horses performed way ahead of market expectations, but ultimately a 33/1 shot can run like a 9/2 shot and still get touched off by a 2/1 shot. (Or worse still a 40/1 shot!!)

The value needs a lot of cogs to work, it is no good to simply think something is overpriced; it needs to be able to win. 

Once we have established that it has the ability to win, the next step is to brace ourselves for more disappointment, especially at prices like 33/1 as it will need an awful lot of them to underperform against market expectations, 

We need some random events, we need luck.

A Dirty Word

Don't be ashamed to take your luck, similarly don't be too despondent about the bad luck, it all comes out in the wash.

We hate the fact when we find a horse that nobody else could, that we may have been lucky, we want it to be down to our ability as punters.

Here is the theory in practice.

Punter A studies a race, it is a 16 runner handicap, he whittles it down and spends hours poring over the form, and he makes a selection, a 16/1 shot.

Punter B sticks a pin into a page, exposing himself to every runner in the race, his pin is 16/1 the field, it lands on the favourite, a 4/1 shot.

Your first reaction will be along the lines of “lucky b*****d”, but let us say that half of the field covers 90% of the market, 

He is in effect giving himself a 50 % chance of picking a horse more likely to win than the punter who has put the hours in.

If Punter B wins, he hasn't put the work in, he has been a fortunate recipient of a random event.

Flat Racing Grandstand

If Punter A wins, it is down to hard work and putting in the hours.

But he will also have been a fortunate recipient of a random event (in the assumption that every horse race is a series of random and non random events and for a 16/1 shot to be successful as we have explored earlier, lots of random events need to occur), he just attempted to predict it.

I am not trying to suggest that horse racing doesn't respond to analysis, because I believe that it does, but we have to accept the grey area, just because it isn't as random as the lottery, it is still a result of many random events. 

A faller is a clear-cut example of this, you won't sit down and form a book on a race and name the fallers, you know some are MAYBE more likely than others to tip over, but the subject from a punting point of view is completely random.

Punter A is unlikely to accept defeat as readily as Punter B, especially if the latter's horse is the one that comes over the line in front, the outcome feels raw and unfair and it is, 

If you can come to terms with luck and the role it plays in your betting you will become a much better punter, far less likely to chase after systems and methods that are as much about randomness as they are about results.

I could massage and back fit any 100 or so favourites into a profitable system after the event, even the jockeys silks can be back fitted into a system, 

I would imagine that Godolphin Blue and Coolmore Black feature heavily in the winner's enclosure in group races, 

The problem lies with random events not being apparent until after they have occurred.

I'm off to buy a lottery ticket !

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