Monday, July 31, 2006
... will pass on strong word for Malmo FF tonight. Spoken to two Swedish professionals, first said he thought that they were the best side in the league, despite throwing away a 3-0 lead in the last game.
The second, that they would "just win", this is a term for a banker really, not that they should win narrowly. Both are very good judges, but the odds are low, so the choice is yours. Seen them at 1.36 and -1.5 goals @ circa 1.93, you might find higher if you shop around.
Sure that they would like to set the record straight, after giving up 4 goals to Gefle, in 32 minutes of pure madness last week. The 3 points could take them as high as third place and within touching distance of the top two.
Boston host Birmingham tonight at the Staffsmart stadium. I was going to tip a decent bet on the visitors and spent a long time looking into the match, but have opted to advise only a minimal bet.
The Championship team is made up of a mixture of fringe first team squad members and reserve players, they are boosted by the inclusion of Fabrice Muamba, on loan from Arsenal and a future star. The latest in a long line of players to be dubbed, "the new Viera".
Plenty of experience with the inclusion of Clemence and Gray, D.J. Campbell is a striker who knows where the goal is and he will be desperate to get on the scoresheet tonight. There will not be too many changes either, Brum are not taking a large squad, which is a plus.
They asked for this match to be put back 48 hours, so that Muamba and everyone who missed the Nancy game at the weekend, could get 90 minutes play before the league starts.
Having made a case for the away win, why am I keeping bets small ? This may sound strange, but I read that the two management teams are close friends and all sorts of conspiracy thoughts came into my mind. Would they take it easy with the league about to start, would they both be happy with a draw, that type of thing.
Anyway, as soon as that entered my head, I decided to half my bet.
Not seen it myself, but if you see a price anywhere for D.J. (Dudley) Campbell to score, that would be interesting.
Birmingham starting XI: Colin Doyle, Peter Till, Sam Oji, Marcos Painter, James Blake, Neil Kilkenny, Fabrice Muamba, Stephen Clemence, Julian Gray, DJ Campbell, Sone Aluko.
1.5 points Birmingham -3/4 asian line 2.20.
..... in Sweden's Superettan, have already been well documented on this blog. If you wish to read the original article, it can be found using the link below.
That saves going over a lot of old ground. Today, I like the "over" in the Ljungskile- Mjallby fixture.
The home side have some defensive problems, especially on the left side, the visitors last ten games have averaged 3.4 goals , 7 of their last 8 have been "over" and with the exception of their meeting with "buck the trend" Trelleborg, every game this season has had at least 2 goals.
Think this game will have a minimum three goals.
3 points Ljungskile- Mjallby over 2.5 goals 1.75 general, likely to be bigger on the exchanges later.
Manchester United were supposed to field a reserve team for the short trip to Division 2 side Macclesfield tonight. However, Sir Alex has decided to use this match as a "comeback" for some of his World Cup stars.
United will put out a strong side including Rooney, Ferdinand and Van Der Sar.
The -1.75 quote on the asian line will not last long, once this news reaches the Asian punters.
This is my first bet for today, more to follow shortly.
4 points Manchester United -1.75 goals asian line 1.95.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
The other two selections today won, that is why it is important to check back to the site at regular intervals. I will normally tell you when I next expect to post, but sometimes I get some late information.
This week we had 13 selections Monday-Sunday, 11 won and made a nice profit of 22.56 points. The past three weeks have shown a massive profit of over 66 points.
Will be back later with some strong news for tomorrows matches, expect to have two bets.
Tottenham are in great form and playing with a lot of confidence.
Today they face Inter Milan at White Hart Lane, the Italian giants are much further behind in their preperations, their season begins in September, some three weeks after the Premiership gets under way.
Inter will have very much a B team out today, according to my information Adriano, Grosso and Figo are not in the squad and several other stars, will just warm the bench.
Spurs will name a strong side and following wins over Bordeaux, Nice, Celta, Birmingham and Stevenage, will be looking for victory number 6.
The asian line of -1/4 seems the right way to go, do not see the London side losing this, if you prefer the straight win, 2.50 is available.
4 points Tottenham - 1/4 2.04 asian line.
After the first five rounds, games were very low scoring, with a 2.02 average, this rose to 2.38 after 10 and is now up to 2.56. Think we can expect the trend to continue, now that the pitches are in good condition and players at their peak.
In the last round, 6/8 matches were "over", the other two had exactly two goals.
Today I like the Sandefjord- Stabaek game to go "over". These two mirror this seasons scoring trends, only more so. After slow starts, over the last 10 matches they have averaged 3.3 and 3.2 goals respectively. The only two recent meetings have gone over and both will be looking for the 3 points.
I will be back later today with a strong selection, but please do not miss the Lee Westwood bet, detailed below, he tees off at 12.50 cet. His odds are now sub 4.0 on Betfair, so that you do not miss out, my idea of his true price is 2.50, therefore, 3.75+ is still very nice.
4 points Sandefjord- Stabaek over 2.5 goals 1.75 bet 365/ betfair.
Saturday, July 29, 2006
Will post again later, have something good for tomorrow, that you should back asap.
Westwood's the name, Lee Westwood, 33 years old and I win golf tournaments for a living.
Sixteen to date on the European tour, a win on every continent and probably going to make it 17 on Sunday, might buy myself a burger to celebrate.
No, Lee is far too modest to say any of that, apart from the burger part, but, in contention, this guy can "close the deal" like very few others.
Some are of the opinion that he can't cut it anymore, but they are wrong. Seen him come charging through the field on a Sunday, far too many times for that and, just as importantly, so have the rest of the Tour. So much of this game is played, between the ears.
I can promise you that Robert Karlsson, who leads by two from Lee, they are in turn a further two strokes clear of the "field", would rather it was someone else, anyone else, breathing down his neck.
The Swede can win tournaments, indeed he is a winner this year, but he is also capable of the odd stinker and I have seen him get very nervous. LW has won this tournament twice before, holds the tournament scoring record, which could be beaten tomorrow and the 18 hole course record of 61.
Maybe you think I overestimate his final round ability and nerve, well, listen up. The last "charge" Lee made to win, came in the BMW event in Germany, after round 3 he was in a tie for 6th place, 3 shots off the lead. Shooting a 66 he won the tournament by 3, beating the overnight leader by 5, an 8 shot swing, the leader (?) ............... oh, a Swede named Karlsson.
When Westwood last won this event in 2000, he trailed someone by the name of Tiger Woods, by 2 strokes. He shot 64, won by 3 and beat Woods, "the greatest closer in the business" by 4. Give this guy a chance and he is like a shark with blood in his nostrils.
He is striking the ball very nicely this week, watching the final holes in round 3, I found myself praying he would not get within one stroke, so that we would get a better price on Sunday. I believe the Worksop Wonder will win the Deutsche Bank Players Championship, for the third time, suggest you get on.
The odds below are currently available, but for small liquidity, there may be more later, anything over 4.0 is very good value.
5 points Lee Westwood outright 4.20 betfair.
Orgryte in Allsvenskan today, it comes from a very good source , a Swedish professional.
He feels that they will improve now that their superb striker, Ailton Almeida, is back from injury and the first choice goalkeeper returns from suspension.
Looking at the h2h, I can tell you that the visitors have lost only once in their last 6 trips to Djurgarden, that defeat coming by a single goal.
I like the asian line handicap, we have a profit even with a one goal defeat .
3 points Orgryte + 1.25 goals asian line 1.96
.... by Division 1 standards, a very nice new stadium, big support and money to spend.
They had already made some nice summer signings, but yesterday signed another two, long term targets and rushed the registrations through so that they could play today.
The Swans have been at a training camp all week in Devon and will play at Conference side, Exeter, this afternoon. The home team have had no luck signing players, the promised influx has not happened and the natives are restless. They are some 4-5 players short and must address the problem, if they are to put in a promotion run this season.
At present, they seem ill prepared to handle a Swansea side that could/should be playing Championship football sometime soon.
4 points Swansea 1.90 bet 365.
.... that the defensive problems had been ironed out, with the nice win at Port Vale.
Feel that they can follow up against another Division 1 side, when they face Bradford today. The Yorkshire club are in a mini crisis, have conceded 4 goals to both Boston and Darlington, are having real trouble signing players and the fans want the coach out, as soon as possible.
It seems hard to believe that, having struggled so badly against lower league opposition, that they will be able to keep the rampant Mancunians at bay.
Sorry, previews will be shorter than usual today, but you can be sure I have done my usual homework.
4 points Manchester City 1.62 bet 365.
Friday, July 28, 2006
...... for the Division 2 title this season, everything is in place now. They have a very nice stadium only 3 years old and the nucleus of a good squad, which ended last season just one spot off the playoffs.
The very ambitious chairman has recently made a £250k bid for Michael Bridges from Carlisle, this is a huge sum at this level. Darlington have made 6 summer signings, 3 from Championship clubs, 2 from Division 1 and one from France. They have a squad that is stronger than many Division 1 clubs.
In their two last pre season matches, thet defeated a young Middlesboro team 1-0 and Bradford (Div 1) 4-1, in a game they totally dominated.
Darlington, after several false dawns, really do look a club "on the up. Look out for them this season, but tonight they travel to Conference team York City, for a friendly they should win.
They will want to keep the good run going, seem sure to put out a very strong side and will be cheered on by a large travelling support.
There could be a good two divisions difference between these two and the quote looks very fair.
4 points Darlington -1/4 1.94 asian line.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Paddy Power have prices on "which group will have the highest placed finisher ?" at the WSOP Main Event. They have 4 groups, each of 12 runners, one player must finish in the money or all bets will be void.
I think that they have made a big error. Group A is priced @ 3.0 and contains IVEY, HELLMUTH, NEGREANU, SEIDEL, NGUYEN, FERGUSON, FISCHMAN, JUANDA, HARRINGTON, LEDERER, HANSEN and BLACK. Now, wouldn't you take those 12 against any other dozen in the world ?
So it's a crapshoot, an 8,000 runner event that anyone can win, Moneymaker, Raymer and Hachem, who had ever heard of them before. That is true, but we do not need the winner, just the best from 48 runners and here we have, arguably, the best 12.
Since the event really took off in 2003, Group A would have provided the winner in this bet all 3 years and also the runner up in 03 and 05. A couple of these groups include players hopelessly out of form, players who will be lucky to survive one day, let alone a week . This is a first rate bet, not sure how much PP will lay on a bet like this, guess not much, but it should be taken. My idea of the true price is sub 2.0.
5 points Group A 3.0 " Which group will have the highest placed finisher ? " paddy power.
Several of you have asked if I have any views on the Scottish Premier League, which gets under way this weekend. No suggested bets, odds are a little low to wait 9 months for, but if that doesn't worry you, read on.
Rangers, now coached by Paul Le Guen, who masterminded the rise of Lyon as a major force, should win the SPL.
He has started by tightening up the defence and they look to be going in the opposite direction to Celtic, who, due to financial pressures, are going on a tour to Asia, AFTER the season has started. Only one winner for me, anything around 2.25 is a fair price.
Kris Boyd is a prolific goalscorer and baring injury, should be topscorer in the SPL. Kilmarnock's top goal getter for the last 4 seasons, he performed the same feat at Rangers, despite only joining them after the mid- season break. Infact, he was top scorer for both clubs last year, a repeat of his 32 goal haul, will see him coast home in this market, at 3.0 (totesport) he is a very good price.
I will be back later with a bet on the WSOP, found something priced at 3.0 which I make 1.80 !
No, not Manchester United, but the might of Crawley Town.
The non leaguers are in a mess, they must start the season with a ten point deduction, having gone into administration.
Only 5 squad players from last season, turned up for pre season training, as all contracts were cancelled. Manager John Hollins, has had to register almost anyone prepared to play, in order for the club to fulfill the league requirements.
If Brighton were taking their first team this would be a 5 star bet, but they are not. However, contrary to some reports, they are not fielding a youth team. Seven of the starting line up tonight played in the 1-0 win at Championship side Colchester, earlier this week. Several of these boys are hungry, they are on trial and playing for their professional contracts. That is real motivation, anyway, the team is good enough for me to bet the Seagulls.
Some snippets from the Brighton website .......
France Under-21 international midfielder William Moquet will be among three trialists set to feature for the Seagulls tonight when they take on Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium .
He will be joined by midfielder Martin Brittain and Dan McBreen, both of whom featured in the 1-0 win at Colchester on Tuesday night.
The rest of tonight's team will be made up largely of young professionals, although Alex Revell and Alex Frutos are both set to start. Michel Kuipers and Wayne Henderson will continue their battle to be first choice keeper for the start of the season as they play a half each.
Albion Probable: Henderson, P Hinshelwood, Fraser, Breach, Rents, Brittain, Cox, Chamberlain, Frutos; McBreen, Revell.
3 points Brighton -1/2 1.90 asian line.
OK, did that get your attention ?
I have found a very nice value bet for the ATP event in Los Angeles today. It is for 18 yo Sam Querrey (who ?) to beat Dmitry Tursunov, the price is a massive 3.80 on Betfair, will probably be bigger later and could pay for your summer holiday.
Firstly, Tursunov is a good steady pro, top 50 player and very much at home on these hard courts, but that is why we get such a juicy price on the American.
Sam is a native Californian, was born in San Francisco and lives just outside Los Angeles. A bit of a late developer as a junior, he improved dramatically in his last year as a "boy", rising a 100 places in almost as many days.
At 1.98 tall and 90kg, he strikes an imposing figure, to be honest he looks bigger and has probably grown since these measurements were taken. He has a massive serve, in a recent (close) defeat to big serving Fernando Gonzalez, he dominated these stats.
This is Querrey's first year as a senior and he is improving quickly. In his first Masters event at Indian Wells in March, he beat Bobby Reynolds ( ranked 114) and then took a set off the in form, James Blake, who went on to reach the final, without dropping another.
In early June he won a Challenger event on hard in Yuba City and followed this up with another hard court success earlier this month in Winnetka. Moving on to ATP events, first he went to Newport, beating Udomchoke ( ranked 112) 3 & 4, before losing to Andrew Murray. Then on to Indianapolis, beat Tipsarevic (126) serving 19 aces and then came the loss to Gonzalez.
In the first round here he beat the experienced Vince Spadea, in straight sets, to whom he had lost earlier in the year, further proof that he is heading in the right direction. You will never again get 3.80 ( or bigger) for Querrey to beat Tursunov, let alone on a hard court in his "home" tournament, win or lose it is a value price, I suggest you get on.
4 points Querrey to beat Tursunov 3.80 betfair.
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
He finished 60th/400 in the seven card razz, event #33 and 28th/84 in the 2-7 draw, event #35. Per is only warming up and will be finely tuned for the main event, he is writing a blog on
www.24hpokernews.com for anyone who can read Swedish. Check it out.
Back tomorrow, think I have a winner.
5 points Lonard to beat Owen +5
3 points Umea +1/4 1.88 (result 1-1) + 1.32
4 points Santa Cruz 1.88 (3-0) + 3.52
4 points Sunderland -1/4 2.16 (2-0) + 4.64
5 points Spurs -1.75 goals 1.76 (3-0) + 3.8
4 points over 2.75 goals Nor-Newc 2.06 (1-2) + 2.12
3 points Manchester City 1.62 + 1.86
+ 22.26 pts
Let us hope we can keep it going a little longer.
... this week, when Joey Barton and Micah Ricards both signed new, four year contract extentions. Ending, at least for now, transfer speculation linking the two with big money moves.
City have had no problems scoring, in their early warm up games, they have six in two starts, but have been leaking goals at a similar rate. Coach, Stuart Pearce, claims to have ironed out much of what was wrong and that he is very pleased with the teams progress.
They travel to meet Port Vale tonight, who are without Sonner and Miles. The very well supported City, are expecting to take up to 3,000 supporters, this would give them over half of the crowd. Pearce will take all his first team squad and will start with a very strong 11, we can expect plenty of changes during the course of the game, but they should get a welcome win.
3 points Man. City 1.62 bet 365.
Newcastle United travel to Norwich City, where the sides will meet in Craig Fleming's testimonial, without recent signing Damien Duff.
He will not make his debut until the weekend, when the Magpies face PSV Eindhoven at St James Park.
Both coaches have named strong squads and claim to be taking the match "seriously", by this, they mean not 3 substitutions every 15 minutes, some details and quotes below.
Newcastle squad: Steve Harper, Tim Krul, Stephen Carr, Peter Ramage, Steven Taylor, Titus Bramble, Craig Moore, Paul Huntington, Phil Cave, Matty Pattison, Nobby Solano, Scott Parker, James Milner, Nicky Butt, Amady Faye, Charles N'Zogbia, Kris Gate, Alan O'Brien, Carl Finnigan, Liam Atkin.
Striker Shola Ameobi, who has been carrying a hip injury, is rested along with the unsettled Alberto Luque and Jean-Alain Boumsong.
Nigel Worthington paid tribute to his club skipper by declaring that tonight is Craig Fleming's night.Both Norwich and Newcastle will be treating the match as a pre-season friendly, without the gimmicks and that which make some “friendly” matches less than competitive.City boss Worthington will be playing it straight for the team's first home game of the summer after matches at Fakenham and Cambridge and the two Scottish tour matches.“There won't be any toing and froing, there will be a group out there,” he said. “There might be two or three changes, but there won't be a team out for the first half and a team out for the second half. This will be a full blown pre-season game for Norwich City.”
Worthington has pretty much a full squad to choose from tonight, although teenager Rossi Jarvis has a thigh strain and joins goalkeeper Robert Green and defender Matthieu Louis-Jean on the sidelines.
I am glad that both sides will play "normally", this will help the tempo of the game, but let us not forget that this is a testimonial and the players will be looking to entertain. As is normal in these fixtures, we can expect goals, there are very many attack minded players involved and I feel the goal line has been set too low. This is my best bet of the day, but will have one more selection online a little later.
4 points over 2.75 goals Norwich-Newcastle 2.06 asian line.
Phil Hellmuth jr has just won his 10th WSOP bracelet in the $1k + $1k, No Limit Hold'em event in Las Vegas.
Victory came in the early hours, after his AJ held up against Juha Helppi's A9, the board bringing no help to either player . The Finnish player had started heads up play with 1.65m chips, against the American's 850k, but the "Poker Brat" took the first prize of $631,863.
Hellmuth now joins Doyle Brunson and Johnny Chan at the top of the bracelet leaderboard and we will never hear the end of it.
I will be back a little later with some selections for today's action.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Last four selections have won, so looking to continue the good run tonight, when Tottenham make the short trip north to play Stevenage Borough.
Sorry about the odds, but this is a very likely winner, this is the 6th year running that these two have played in a pre season fixture, the clubs having a close relationship. Spurs have won the previous five, 8-1, 4-0, 2-0, 2-1 and last year 3-0, they normally take a strong squad and a large travelling support.
Martin Jol's side are in terrific form, in France they played 3 matches beating Nice 1-0, Bordeaux 2-1 and Spanish club Celta, 2-0. Returning to England they beat Birmingham, at St Andrews by the same 2-0 scoreline, over the weekend.
Tottenham are likely to field several members of the first team, as some are short of match practice, after missing the French trip. Actually, any reserves will be very much at home, as the Spurs B team play their home games at the Stevenage ground. They won their championship last season by 12 points.
Borough have played three warm up games, all at home against Championship opposition, losing all of them, to QPR 4-1, Luton 2-1 and Crystal Palace 3-0.
We have to back the Londoners giving up 1.75 goals, but feel a 2 goal victory is the minimum we can expect.
5 points Tottenham -1.75 goals asian line 1.76
Monday, July 24, 2006
.... for the visit of Sunderland tonight. Manager Pat Fenlon claims that the Irish league leaders are tired, having played twice a week recently, in a hectic schedule.
He wants to give the rest of the squad an outing, almost the entire starting 11 from the last league game, will be given the night off. It is likely some players will play out of position and there will be a couple of "guests" from Dublin City, the club that has withdrawn from the Eircom league. Of course these players will be looking to impress and find a new team, but will probably have little experience of their "team mates", not sure if they have trained together.
Shelbourne have a much more important match on Friday and will not be concerned about the result today. Sunderland are bringing a strong squad, have won their two warm up games, keeping clean sheets and should be motivated to go for the win.
Recently taken over by a consortium headed by former player, Niall Quinn, the Irishman and his fellow Irish investors, are still trying to get their hands on the remaining shares. They will see this as an advertisement of their potential, Quinn is convinced he can make the Black Cats a major force. Many of the players also have Irish connections and will be keen to do well back in their homeland.
4 points Sunderland -1/4 2.16 asian line
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Flamengo play in the Brazilian Cup Final on Wednesday and are resting the entire first team for today's trip to Santa Cruz.
Only four fringe members of the squad have travelled and even the coach has stayed at home to prepare his team for the more important game ahead.
After a very poor start to the season, Santa Cruz have finally found some form, winning the last two, including a 4-1 away win at Fortaleza. This is a very important match for the home team and they should have little trouble picking up the points.
4 points Santa Cruz 1.88 Betfair.
........ for Umea today, who entertain Degerfors in a Superettan fixture.
The home team have been leaking goals this season, 35 in just 15 fixtures, but they now have three "new" defenders available, including one recent signing from Allsvenskan club, AIK. The whole team has a much more balanced look now and results should improve.
Degerfors have just sold their best striker to AIK, he is still available for another two matches, but may not be risked, either way it is another plus for Umea.
The asian quote where we win half with a draw looks attractive.
3 points Umea +1/4 ball asian line 1.88
..... for the final round of the British Open . Over the last 27 holes of the championship, Tiger is 6 under par, Els -5, Garcia -5 ........ Peter Lonard -10, he has 11 birdies and only one dropped shot.
He has a really good chance of getting into the top 5 or 6 today, suggest we back him in two markets. First up, to finish in the top ten with Betfair and also to win his two ball against Greg Owen. This is a bet I really like, the British player is level par for the last 27 holes, a full 10 shots worse than the Aussie, Owen is also carrying a back injury and was close to pulling out yesterday. Get on.
2 points Lonard to finish top 10 3.40 Betfair.
5 points Lonard to beat Owen 2.0 general 14.40 cet 2 ball.
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Henrik Larsson will be desperate to get on the scoresheet today, when his Helsingborg travel to Orgryte, who are still winless after 10 matches.
The goalscoring machine has returned to Sweden and will want to prove, he still has something to offer.
It looks like being a long season for the home side from Gothenburg and even at this early stage they look firm relegation candidates.
Helsingborg have a few players missing, this affects the bench as much as anything else, the first 11 look strong enough. I take them to get the 3 points today.
This game could also go over, Orgryte are without their first choice goalkeeper, his replacement is nowhere near as good. With some defensive problems in both camps, this is a viable alternative. I know of one very good judge who is already on the "over".
Not much of a price but Patty Schnyder should see off Katarina Srebotnik in Cincinnati. The Swiss player has never lost here, is 8-0, 16-2 in sets and defending champion . Plenty of ranking points to protect and with a good h2h record over her Slovenian opponent. She leads 2-0 , both on hard, in straight sets, including one earlier this year in Miami. Expect Patty to win, but 1.32 is pretty short, 2-0 in sets may be a better option.
Not sure how motivated Marseille are about the Intertoto Cup, feel they would rather concentrate on the league and a Champions League push next season. After drawing 0-0 at home to Dnipro, they travel to the Ukraine for the return. The home side are very well organised by Oleg Protasov, the former coach of Steaua in Romania, who had a good run in Europe last year and had some big wins over French sides.
I like the +1/4 handicap, we can still win a little with any draw and Marseille will progress anyway with a score draw. So, a lot of value, for me, in this bet.
3 points Helsingborg 2.20 ladbrokes
2.5 points Dnipro +1/4 1.92 asian line
1.5 points Schnyder 2-0 sets 1.75 general
...... for Lyn today, they play "away" to Valarenga, but as the two teams share a stadium, there is no ground advantage.
Lyn have dominated the meetings between these two in recent years with six wins and three draws in the last nine, they have won the last four "away". If that is not good enough Valarenga have a vital Champions League qualifier at Boleslav on Wednesday.
Stan James have a nice 3.40 quote for a Lyn win (no, not a Chinese striker), but I favour the 1/2 ball asian line.
3 points Lyn +1/2 1.71 asian line.
Should anyone open an account, send me an email, address is in my "profile"and I will able to get you a little"extra" bonus.
Friday, July 21, 2006
The 37th Annual World Series of Poker started on June 25th, event number 31 will start later today. Next Friday will see the start of THE BIG ONE, The No-Limit Texas Hold'em World Championship, with an expected first prize of $10,000,000, it looks more if you include the noughts.
Thought it would be fun to look at the tournament from the inside, so decided to enlist a professional. I have an exclusive interview below with Per Hildebrand, who is founder and President of 24hPoker the biggest European poker network. Despite his youthful good looks, Per, known as Mr.Six Six, has years of experience on the poker circuit and made it down to the final 3 tables at last year's WSOP championship, collecting $304,680 for 27th place.
Hi Per, starting with the obvious, how and when did you start playing poker ?
My father, Alexander, came as a refugee to Sweden from Estonia in 1941. He was very interested in chess and other games and started to make some extra money from playing poker in the 1950's. We always used to play games at home like chess, checkers, preference, bridge and other card games for fun, sometimes the adults played these games for small stakes.
In the mid 70's my father became captain of the Swedish national chess team, as a child ( born in 1962) , I sometimes followed him to tournaments and we would play bridge against the chess players, usually taking their money. All games interested me, but after a while chess got boring, my father was much better than me and I was much better than all my friends in the small village where we lived, so we started playing poker instead.
We were using comic books as currency, as all young boys had loads at that time. Eventually someone went "broke" and money was introduced to buy back magazines to continue the game. Later the comic books were removed and we used cash instead.
I started to study law at the University of Uppsala in 1980, at the same time I started playing at higher levels, living in a larger city it was easier to find gambling friends. Infact, I even "inherited" some of my fathers old poker pals who were still around. After completing law school in 1987, my poker had reached a higher level and I was already arranging my own tournaments, it was now that I decided to move on as a professional poker player.
When did you first realise the potential of online poker ?
In the fall of 1999 Paradise Poker started growing and online poker was discovered by many of us "pros". It took a few more years before the break through to a bigger audience. Me and my poker playing friends thought it was great to play poker on the computer.
What made you decide to start your own company ?
Having seen that Paradise were growing very quickly, I founded 24hPoker in 2000 and started building our own poker software. Making my own estimations of PP's revenue, I could see that this was a very profitable business. At the time they had 600 cash players at peak hours and 200 off peak, nothing like today's numbers, but enough for maybe 20-30 teams around the world, to start working on the software. Not everyone succeeded as the technical platform is extremely complex.
Maybe in your wildest dreams you hoped poker would become HUGE, but did you ever think that there would be $600k pots online ? Have you watched any of these games ? Some are viewed by hundreds of people.
Sometimes I have viewed the huge games and they are very exciting. It is hard to believe that they are playing for real money. Many years ago I was considered a high stakes player, but the biggest pot won or lost was $35,000. Amazing to think that many of these guys are only 20 years old and have never shuffled a deck of cards themselves.
How many years have you played in the WSOP ?
I started to go to Vegas in 1987 and have been there maybe 20 times for various tournaments. However, I didn't play the main event every year as Swedish players were taxed in the US 30% on winnings then. Nowadays there is no tax in the US for Swedish citizens, but we are supposed to pay 30% in Sweden instead. As I now look at poker tournaments as entertainment, even though I still do well, the tax is not a major concern.
What are the differences between The Rio and The Horseshoe ?
The Horseshoe has the tradition, but the premies are lousy, so no one really misses it. In recent years we play all the bigger cash games at the Bellagio anyway. The Rio is fine and hopefully they have ironed out some of last years problems.
Do you play cash games outside of the tournaments and if so, what is your game of choice ?
I used to play cash games, often round the clock in the old days, but now, just for a few hours here and there. I prefer 2-7 NL , but that is hardly played any more, Omaha 8 or better and PL Omaha.
Is there time for much socialising, must be a lot of people there you have not seen for a while, or is it just play and sleep ?
No, if you have played poker for many years, you make many friends, we have great dinners, sometimes watch a show, just hang out together. This is probably the best part of having been around the scene a while. One of my best friends is 2 times bracelet winner Chris Bjorin, he is great company, we make a lot of jokes and tell very old stories.
Last year must have been a great thrill, 6-7 days of intense play though, how physically demanding was it ?
Yes it was, I lasted about a week and it was very tough, as play lasted from noon till 2-3 am, every day. Fortunately I had my wife Linda with me and she took care of me and all practical matters (Team Hildebrand). Maybe thats why I did so well, before she had always claimed to be unlucky for my game.
You are a very laid back guy ( see the photo), sure that helps you, do you wear headphones/ read a book, any tips for getting through the early stages, when you have to stay focused for 12-14 hours ?
Usually I try to study my opponents and watch the game. From a spectators point of view
10-12 hours is a very long time, but sat at the table you are in another world, time passes much quicker. I think some music is relaxing though and for the first time ever I wore shades last year and felt more comfortable.
Down to 3 tables, you were sat with Ivey, Raymer and Andrew Black who led for quite sometime, late in the tournament and the eventual winner, Joe Hachem. That was some table, was there anyway you saw the Aussie as the winner at that stage ?
Actually, Hachem only moved to my table after I was eliminated. However, I saw a great play from Black, Ivey raised his blind, so the Irishman reraised, then Phil reraised again and Andy, after some thinking went all-in with a massive stack risking his tournament life. Ivey mucked and Black showed A2 . I later heard that the American also had a poor hand, something like K8 .
After that I thought Andrew Black could be the winner, complete disregard for his big name opponent. Phil faded away after that earning the same prize money as me, despite starting that day with a stack of 4.65m chips, I had only 645k.
Which events are you going to play this year ?
I will probably play
Fri, Jul. 21 - Sun, Jul. 23 No-Limit Hold'em Rebuy Status: No Rebuys
Sat, Jul. 22 - Sun, Jul. 23 Seven Card Razz Rebuy Status: No Rebuys
$1,500 + $0
Sun, Jul. 23 - Tue, Jul. 25 No-Limit Hold'em Rebuy Status: Multiple Rebuys
$1,000 + $1,000
Mon, Jul. 24 - Wed, Jul. 26 Limit Hold'em Shootout Rebuy Status: No Rebuys
$1,500 + $0
Tue, Jul. 25 - Wed, Jul. 26 No-Limit 2-7 Draw Lowball Rebuy Status: Multiple Rebuys
$5,000 + $5,000
Fri, Jul. 28 - Thu, Aug. 10 No-Limit Hold'em Championship Rebuy Status: No Rebuys
$10,000 + $0
What do you think about the HORSE event, were you not tempted to play ? The final table was sensational, could this become the real World Championship ?
I would have played if my schedule had allowed, the fewer players, the greater the chance to win a bracelet. It seems to me too many of the new players only focus on Texas Hold'em, the greatest players need to be able to play several games at high stakes level. This will not become the World Championship though, that will remain the $10k nl event.
There have been discussions about raising the entry fee but I feel $10k is enough and that the internet sites will not send many players if it is increased to $25k or $50k.
Any advice for readers going to the WSOP for the first time ?
Enjoy Las Vegas. It is a great place and there are so many cool and spectacular things to do. Unfortunately it is no longer a budget vacation venue and soon the hotels will make more money from accomodation and food than from gambling. If you want a shot at the big one, play some super satellites, entry is only $200 and there are many "funny" players.
Heard that it was a scramble for the bathrooms last year at The Rio, you must be relieved that three trailers with extra facilities have been added ?
Yes, your chips can be anted away while you wait in line. Going to the bathroom and losing a couple of thousand of hard earned chips is not encouraging. Still, here I have an edge, after 20 years experience of long sessions and not drinking too much when I play.
There will be a large Swedish entry in the main event, saw that you are listed amongst the 14-1
co-favourites, in the Top Swede market, what do you think about those flattering odds. Any other Swedish players that might go well ?
It is a very bad price, last year there were over 200 Swedish players, I was 27th, a great achievement, but was still beaten by three Swedes. USA aside, we were the best overall country. You can keep an eye out for Bo Sehlstedt, he is doing very well on the internet, you may hear more of him.
Finally, Mr Six Six, where does that come from ?
I was in a tournament with maybe 150 players left and a big pot developed. I raised from two spots off the BB with 44 and was called by a loose Danish player in the big blind. We both had pretty big stacks - I hade maybe 250K and he had something like 350K. He called and the flop came 457 rainbow. He checks and I bet something like 20K - he raises me with approximately 80K and I move all in after some thinking.
He then considers for a few minutes and finally makes a terrible call. He has got 7d8d in his hand (there is also the 4d on the board). Looking good - he can now only beat me with a 6 or two running cars 7 and 8. Oops - the turn card is the 6d - the ABSOLUTE disaster. The guys makes his straight and also blocks the 5d as a winning card for me. After being almost a sure winner I am suddenly a huge underdog. However, the last card is another 6 and I make my full house to win the pot. Mr 6-6...
Thank you very much Per and good luck.
..... first up, Tom Lehman the former Open winner, he is over priced with William Hill at 2.10.
Tom beat both opponents, the out of sorts Philip Price and big hitting American, J.B.Holmes, who has no experience of links golf, by six strokes yesterday. The US Ryder Cup captain was immaculate, hitting almost every fairway and never dropping a shot.
Odds on with other bookmakers, that is a truer reflection of his chance.
I also like Sean O'Hair to beat the inexperienced Japanese player, Tatsuhiko Ichihara, who shot 78 in the first round and Anthony Wall, who seemed to panic a little when he realised he was leading the Open.
O'Hair has really taken to links golf, he shot a nice 69 yesterday, last year on his debut Sean finished 15th, which included a second round 67. Something similar is on the cards today.
3 points Tom Lehman 2.10 william hill 16.04 cet 3 ball.
3 points Sean O'Hair 2.25 general 16.15 cet 3 ball.
...... you have done us proud, but leaving the Indianapolis tournament alone today, choosing to head a little East to Cincinnati and the delights of the WTA tour.
My choice is Jelena Jankovic to defeat Vera Zvonareva, the girl from Serbia is very much at home on these hard courts. She resides in Florida and as a junior, was ranked #1, won the Australian Open and made the US Open final.
Jelena had a poor run early in the year, losing ten straight matches, she is now back on track and is in much better form now, going 16-6 since the slump ended.
Her Russian opponent also suffered a similar early-mid season loss of form and has also returned close to her best.
They are 1-1 h2h, Jankovic winning the only hard court meeting , in my opinion she is the better player, with the greater potential. This should be her time of the season and I expect her to win today and to go on to better things.
Going to have some golf up a little later, we are 14 points up on the week overall and have over 40 pts profit in the last 12 days. Following that, I have something a little different, it will appeal to any of you that have an interest in poker, please check back.
3 points Jankovic to beat Zvonareva 1.85 centrebet , sure to be bigger on the exchanges.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
I am having problems with my server today, so this will be brief. Rain overnight has made the course play a little longer and the greens more receptive.
The big guns are already gathering at the top of the leaderboard and late starters Goosen and Woods, should win their 3 balls and close the gap. Prices are not big, but they face players, at the wrong end of their careers or, with little experience of Open golf.
4 points double Woods 1.44 - Goosen 1.53 to win their 3 balls 15.39 / 16.12 cet william hill
...... was kind to us yesterday, going to stick with the same selections today.
Think Xavier Malisse is a little over priced for his meeting with Dmitry Tursunov, who is capable of beating/ losing to anyone. If the Tursunov who lost to Levy (ranked 266) and Luczak (138) on hard courts, in the past year turns up, the Russian is in trouble.
Srichaphan should beat Paul Goldstein, Paradorn leads the h2h 3-0, all wins coming in the US, on hard courts and all bar one in straight sets. Coming into form, the Thai player should have too much for the journeyman Goldstein.
2 points Malisse 2.22 to beat Tursunov betfair.
4 points Srichaphan 1.51 to beat Goldstein pinnacle/betfair.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
.... returns to Royal Liverpool c.c. in Hoylake, for the first time in almost 40 years, so little course form to go on.
Listed at 7258 yards long, it will play much,much shorter, due to the arid conditions. Winner is likely to be someone who gets hot with his approach shots, especially with the wedge. Going to start very steady and suggest a little each way on Vijay Singh, we are sure to play again at the weekend after we have a little more knowledge, but this is a good start to our portfolio.
VJ is in good shape, finishing 1-6-4 in his last three tournaments and with two top 5's in his last three Open's, the Fijian is finally coming to terms with links golf. He will enjoy the good weather and the flat greens will negate many of his putting problems, which has been his achilles heel.
Think VJ will not be too far away come Sunday afternoon.
I like Geoff Ogilvy, who did us a favour in the US Open, in the top Australasian market. Odds of 7.50 with VC Bet, are fair for a man who has already won a major this year and finished 16th in the Masters. Last year at St. Andrews he was 5th and is a much better, more confident player now. He could go very close.
The hard, sunburnt conditions will suit the Australians, who have grown up playing in such conditions. I am going to take two of them to win their early 3 balls.
First up, Rod Pampling to beat Owen and Furyk who is very unhappy here, the American has been making negative comments after each practice round. Jim has missed the last 5 Open cuts, Owen the last 2, our man Rod has made the last 2, won this year and will enjoy the conditions.
Next choice is Allenby to beat Dodd and Hamilton, who was a shock Open winner two years ago, but has very poor form since, missing 15/19 cuts this year. Dodd has recent winning form, but very little Open experience. Ten years ago, Allenby looked a certain future Open winner, but has yet to produce the goods, however, he is returning to form, has made the cut in 9/11 appearances and has 3 top 20 Open finishes to his name. Really like his chances in the 3 ball.
1 point ew Vijay Singh outright 17.0 1/4 odds 12345 general
2 points ew Geoff Ogilvy 7.50 1/4 odds 123 vc bet
2 points Rod Pampling 3.0 general 09.39 cet 3 ball
3 points Robert Allenby 2.375 general 10.01 cet 3 ball
Golf review will be online in an hour or so.
I like Fredrikstad (averaging 3.3 per game in league) -Bryne and Valerenga-Aalesund (3.5 av in all league games). Both can be backed at 1.50 + to finish over 2.5 goals on the exchanges, even at these odds, both are good value.
2 points Fredrikstad-Bryne over 2.50 goals 1.51 betfair.
2 points Valerenga-Aalesund over 2.5 goals 1.58 betfair.
Firstly, today is probably the hottest July day in history, in the UK. Fitness will be severely tested in the conditions tonight.
I am going to keep stakes smallish because of that, but am very confident about the selections, hope that makes sense.
Two managers that will have their players fit and ready to go, are Steve Coppell and Billy Davies (Derby).
Coppell's Reading are taking a strong squad to Rushden tonight, just two days after the Conference side lost a hard fought game,
2-0 at home to Nottingham Forest.
Do not think that two games in 48 hours, in these conditions, is very wise and I can see them getting very tired in the second half.
Reading have forgotten how to lose and will want to keep that feeling going into their first ever Premiership season.
Derby County are in good shape, winning on a short tour of Austria and, at MK Dons over the weekend. They travel to Mansfield who are still players short for the coming season and for whom, this is their first proper warm up game. County have been in training almost a week longer than their Division 2 opponents, which will stand them in good stead tonight.
3 points Reading -1 goal asian line 1.81
2.5 points Derby -1/2 1.90 asian line.
.... on the RCA Tennis Championships in Indianapolis today. My selections are Srichaphan to beat Arthurs and Malisse to overcome Lee.
Paradorn Srichaphan is very at home on hard courts, has a good record against big servers, beating Karlovic and Stepanek in Sydney earlier this year. The Thai player likes the surface here, where he has a 7-3 record. He should beat the one dimensional Aussie.
Lee had a good win over Philippoussis yesterday, but the Australian was no doubt tired after his exertions of last week. Before that win, Lee was 0-4 in previous visits to Indianapolis.
Malisse plays here every year and has an 8-7 record, h2h between the two is 2-2, but the Belgian has won the last two in straight sets for the loss of only 9 games, both on fast courts. Think he has an advantage on these courts and in recent match ups. Going to take a double on the two, shop around for the best prices, not all companies are quoting at the time of writing.
3 points double Srichaphan 1.48- Malisse 1.71 general quotes.
Today will be a bumper day, I have one, maybe two, football bets and some tennis and golf advice, please check back later. Next post will be online before 12.00 cet.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Leicester city started their pre season with a 4-1 win at Boston last week.
Tonight they visit Macclesfield to face another Division 2 opponent. City are approaching this weeks fixtures in a very professional manner, having travelled north on Monday for a 5 day stay, they also meet Stockport on Friday. After a light training session this morning, they are currently resting ahead of the match.
Coach Robert Kelly has got a strong squad of players together, made some good off season signings and anything less than a concerted promotion push, will be seen as failure this season.
He certainly has the players undivided attention, having left Sylla, de Vries and Hamill out of the Boston game, Kelly declined to add them to the large squad taken to the training camp.They are surplus to requirements and the other players are aware they must be on their toes, to avoid suffering a similar fate.
Macclesfield have lost a couple of key players over the summer and the coach has claimed that tonight has little meaning for him. Of course, he is right to an extent, it is a friendly after all, however, I feel the Foxes are in better shape and a class apart. Think they will win, in what will be sweltering conditions ( over 30 degrees in Macc .. bet the locals are melting) and suggest a small interest.
See that the Sheriff price has collapsed, as I write, -1 is down to 1.58, hope you got on earlier.
3 points Leicester City -3/4 1.90 asian line.
Have to apologise about the odds, they will not make you rich, but feel that FC Sheriff Tiraspol will win comfortably tonight.
The champions of Moldova were only founded in 1997, they first won the title in 2001 and have held it ever since, also winning the national cup 3 times. That is quite some haul in just nine years.
They are owned by the very influential local businessman Victor Gushan, he has built a fantastic modern stadium and training facilities that are the envy of many top european sides. Gushan has given them the financial backing to be able to turn down big money offers for Romanian striker Razvan Kochish ( Cocis), who is being trailed by the major Spanish clubs.
Sheriff have a multi national side with players from Africa (7), Brazil(2) and a crop of promising Romanian youngsters.
Today they face Pyunik Yerevan, following a 0-0 draw in Armenia, where the local champions were restricted to one attempt on goal, Sheriff had several good chances to score and controlled the game. The Pyunik squad are virtually all home grown players, they have also won the title 5 years in a row, but have nowhere near the financial power or european ambitions of the team from Moldova.
Anything other than a home win today will be a massive disappointment to Gushan and Sheriff, everything is geared up for qualification to the next round and beyond.
3 points Sheriff -1 goal asian line 1.79.
Monday, July 17, 2006
...............Gary Johnson's Bristol City started last season VERY slowly, but finished like a steam train, almost making the playoffs.
City picked up 42 of their 65 points in the second half of the season. They are determined to get a fast start this year and Johnson has been stepping up the fitness levels.
They have recently returned from a 3 match tour of Latvia, where they were unbeaten, including wins over Skonto and Jurmala, match fit sides, halfway through their domestic season.
On tour, City trained twice daily in temperatures as high as 37 degrees, in fact, Latvian players were impressed by their fitness levels.
Tonight, the Robins travel to play a pre season friendly against non league Forest Green Rovers, who have already been busy, losing two home games, 3-2 to Swindon last Thursday and 3-0 to Sunderland on Saturday, so this is their 3rd match in 4 days. The temperature today in England is over 30 degrees and the part timers will not be as advanced fitness wise, as the league side.
City have named a strong team and will be looking to continue their good run, these sides could be 4 divisions apart come next May.
4 points Bristol City -3/4 goals 1.84 asian line.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
... passses on a good word for Norrkoping IFK today. They travel to meet Trelleborg FF in a Superettan fixture where the visitors have a great record, with 5 wins and two draws in the last 8 meetings.
The team from East Sweden are steadily climbing the table after a slow start. Having picked up only 2 points from the opening 4 games, they have earned 23 from the last 11 matches, that form would give them 63 points and promotion in virtually any season.
Trelleborg are top of the league and only conceded 3 goals in 15 starts, an amazing record. My information is that they have been over achieving and that the run must end soon. The two sides met in the reverse fixture just six days ago and IFK had much the better of the play, in a goal less draw.
Strongly feel that we will have another tight struggle today and a lay of Trelleborg looks the way to go, alternatively you can back Norrkoping +1/2 on the asian handicap.
My second choice is Ham-Kam to get something out of the trip to Stabaek in Norwegian Eliteserien. The home team have a very strange record at their own ground this season, where they have drawn all six matches.
This midweek at home in the cup, they again failed to win, drawing 2-2 after extra time and losing on penalties to Division 1 side, Sogndal.
Today they are without midfielder/playmaker Tommy Stenersen, who has made many of the teams goals this season.
Ham-Kam have shown improved form recently, beating clear leaders Brann 4-0 last week, winning at Rosenborg 3-0 in their last away game and with a decent cup win in between.They are without their first choice goalkeeper today, but have an able replacement.
Last two league meetings have finished all square and we can expect something similar today, toyed with the idea of a straight bet on the away win, but feel a lay of Stabaek is the better option.
lay 3 points Trelleborg 2.04 betfair.
lay 3 points Stabaek 2.14 betfair.
Saturday, July 15, 2006
...... on Sunday, after round 3 the leaderboard looked like this ........
-11 Clarke, Bjorn
-9 Barham, Drysdale, Romero
-8 Clark, Jacquelin, McGrane, Remesey
-7 Els and 3 others
Aside from the two leaders, I would say that only Clark and Els can win, the other players listed above, either have other objectives ( securing card/ earning entry to the Open) or, are simply not ready to win yet. There are some talented golfers at -6, but they would have to shoot VERY low to win.
Darren Clarke's body language looked terrible on the course and he seemed depressed in his post match interview. He is very good friends with Thomas Bjorn and they will, of course, be paired together tomorrow. Both are a law unto themselves and are capable of shooting anything between 62 and 80. Not much help am I ?
DC has twice throw away winning positions recently and it is a long time since he last won. One win will definitely lead to another, but Dazza has to get his head in front before I could back him again. TB has won this year, but has thrown away more big tournaments, than you can shake a stick at, he should have won two majors by now.
Still think that Tim Clark will get into contention at some stage on Sunday, he is yet to hole a putt of any note, maybe they will all fall tomorrow. I am confident that he will land the place part of our each way bet, at the very least. Feel that Ernie will be fine tuning his game for the Open next week, he has bigger fish to fry.
Therefore, we are happy with our outright bet, so let us look to the 2 balls to make some money. The two I like are Tim Clark (surprise,surprise) and Ian Poulter, he of the flamboyant pants, other players wear hawaiian shirts, he wears hawaiian trousers.
Remember, if following the golf "in running", the 4 most difficult holes on the course are on the back nine, so the golf truism that the tournament only begins on the back 9, in the final round, goes double here.
"Poults" hit a final round 65 last year, hitting every fairway and finished 4th, something similar is on the cards again, he played some very nice approach shots yesterday and just needs to sink a few putts. He should have far too much for Ian Garbutt, who has struggled to find the GIR in 2 of his 3 rounds.
Tim Clark faces Jean-Francois Remesy, who has scored better than he has played, his putter coming to the rescue on numerous occasions. Would suggest taking these two in a double, if you have not already backed Clark outright a little ew at the current odds, circa 10-1 is also advised.
Also going to take a little on Robredo in the tennis, see previous post, odds are simply too big to resist.
2 points Robredo 2.44 to beat Davydenko betfair.
3 points double Clark 1.60 to beat Remesy/Poulter 1.60 to beat Garbutt expekt.
Firstly, have to say that saturday was not a great day, the two football bets lost, but we have had a fantastic week and are over 30 points up since last weekend.
The golf looks a little better, Clark reduced the gap to 3 strokes and I see only 4 possible winners, the "place" bet looks in good shape. Tim defeated Havret by 4, hope someone got involved, will return to the golf tomorrow, think I have found a couple of winners.
On to the tennis, we have Gasquet-Lopez in Gstaad and only one winner for me. The Frenchman leads the h2h 2-0 and both wins came on hard courts, Lopez's favourite surface. However, the odds of around 1.32, are of little use to anyone.
In Sweden, Davydenko meets Robredo and I cannot split them, expected 1.96 the pair, but have already seen 2.46 the Spaniard on Betfair. Have to say that this looks far too high, he may even be higher tomorrow, would not put anyone off backing him, but will not put it up as a selection for now. I will be back later.
...... after a 12 hour flight and only 24 hours later they open their 3 match tour with a game against Orlando Pirates.
United are without all of the players that participated in the World Cup and are set to give the youngsters an outing. Plenty of talent available, but after such a long journey, the asian handicap of +1.5 goals on the home side looks attractive.
The Pirates are no mugs and finished second in their domestic league, losing only 4 times in 30 starts and finishing the season on a 11 match unbeaten run.
This is very much a diplomatic trip for United , do not think they will be looking to give their hosts a thumping, have to advise a bet on the Pirates.
2 points Orlando Pirates +1.5 goals 2.18 asian line.
For the reasons outlined in yesterday's post and the very impressive demolition of Gaston Gaudio, the Frenchman should go on to win the Allianz Suisse Open in Gstaad. I was going to suggest a strong bet at 1.90, but Ljubicic lost his quarter and the odds have crashed.
So just a few quick words about Gasquet, he now resides in Switzerland, therefore victory will have special significance for the 20 yo. In the semi finals he meets Philipp Kohlschreiber who is having a pretty good year, but is out of his depth here. The 22 yo German has never made an ATP final and it would be a major surprise if that changed today.
Richard has had a tough time with injury and illness, given a clean bill of health, he is, at least, a top 10 player, I expect to see him fulfill all his potential in the next 12 months and start with victory here. Just can't advise a bet at the odds, think that he will win a "biggy", sooner, rather than later.
Once again we can expect goals, I am going to limit my selection to the Landskrona-Ljunskile match, but you could consider any of the others. The home team are "over" in each of the last 5 and in all games this season, are averaging just shy of 3 goals per game.
The visitors are over in last 4/6 and in their last 10 matches are averaging 2.8 goals. In this division we have now gone "over" in 19 of the last 24 games and the last 6 rounds have averaged 3.10 goals per game. Remember, these stats include the miserly Trelleborg who have only conceded 3 goals all season and are "responsible"for 4 of the recent unders, so, by avoiding them we have an almost sure winner! If only it were so simple.
3 points Landskrona-Ljungskile over 2.5 goals 1.81 betfair.
I feel Tim Clark could go very close to winning the Barclays Scottish Open golf at Loch lomond, for the second year running.
He is currently in a tie for 7th place, 5 strokes off the lead and hit 15 GIR yesterday in shooting a 67, which could have been even lower. This is a course that suits accurate iron play and that is the South African's forte. Last year, after round 2, he was in a tie for 6th and 3 shots adrift, so not too much difference.
Last week, he had a very nice warm up for this event, a fast finishing 4th in the Western Open, after shooting a fantastic last round , 66, the low score of the day.
If he can sink a few putts over the weekend and he putted VERY well last week, whoever beats him, will win. The fact that fellow South African , Trevor Immelman, won the Western Open will further spur the diminutive Clark.
He is a very nice price and I find it hard to believe that we will not get a great run for our money. Tim should win his 3rd round 2 ball, opponent, Gregory Havret, has a habit of always having one poor round and his only ever win came 5 years ago. However, the odds of 1.61, are a little skinny, so just the outright for me.
2 points ew Tim Clark 15.0 william hill 1/5 odds 1234 scottish open.
Friday, July 14, 2006
... not too much time before these matches start.
Richard Gasquet meets Gaston Gaudio in Gstaad later today and I favour the Frenchman, who now lives in Switzerland. Richard has missed much of the european clay court season, but is now fit and playing well, having recently won Nottingham.
Last year only the best of the best defeated him on clay. He won in Napoli, lost in the Monte Carlo semis to Nadal in 3 sets, Federer beat him in the Hamburg final and Nadal,again, at Roland Garros, where Richard is a former junior champion.
Gaudio won the their two previous meetings, but Gasquet was just a boy then, now the 8 years age difference is a plus for my selection.
Want to pass on a word about the Russian player Evgeny Korolev, just 18 yo he is about to break into the top 100, watch out for him. He will pick up some "scalps" over the hard court season, which is his best surface. However, he does have clay court form, wins over Moya, Vicente and Seppi this year and he took Gaudio to 5 sets in the French Open.
Going to chance a tiny bet on him today against Tommy Robredo, who is a bit up and down at present, but Evgeny is definitely one to keep on your short list for the future.
3 points Gasquet to beat Gaudio 1.79 pinnacle.
1 point Korolev to beat Robredo 3.65 betfair.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Just going to put a couple of very small bets up. I was going to get heavily involved in the first, but have seen some "line" movement against my selection, as they are from Albania and we have seen some "strange" results from their teams, stakes are reduced.
Tirana, have strengthened their team with a top striker and a couple of other quality signings, remember,we are talking about Albanian level here. They will be disappointed to miss out on the Champions League this year, having won through to the second qualification round of that tournament in each of the past 2 years.
They travel to Croatia to meet Varteks who finished third in the league last season, not quite as impressive as it sounds. Only 11 points clear of relegation, Varteks were 18 points behind the 2nd placed club and 29 adrift of the champions ! The general standard in Croatia has definitely deteriorated.
Having lost 5-6 players since last season, including probably 2-3 of the best, two replacement signings were not registered in time to play today. The coach is unhappy with their pre season form, he admits that Varteks are in bad shape and would be happy with any win over Tirana. Under the circumstances, taking the visitors +1.5 goals seems the obvious choice.
I have been informed by a Swedish friend that Atvidaberg are playing in a stadium 50km from their home and are expecting an extremely low crowd, around 3-400. The visitors, Etzella, from Luxembourg are poor, in 8 previous european encounters their record is 0-0-8, goals 4-26. So they are conceding around 3 per game, which is about what I expect today.
The asian line is set at -2.75 goals, think that is on the money, more or less, but the visitors are hardly prolific, so the goal line of 3.75 has plenty of interest. If we take the under, we will lose half the stake with 4 goals, to lose the whole bet there would have to be 5 scored. Atvidaberg are not in the best shape in Superettan, have only scored 11 in 8 home games and are not at their home ground anyway. Going to side with the under.
2 points Tirana +1.5 2.16 asian line
2.5 points Atvidaberg-Etzella under 3.75 goals 1.80 asian line
...... tries for the 5th time to make a cut on the PGA tour today, in the John Deere Classic, which gets under way in Illinois .
The 16 yo from Hawaii is already a multi millionaire from advertising contracts, on the day she turned professional Nike and Sony gave her contracts worth, a reported $10m per year. Nice work if you can get it !
Michelle missed the cut here last year by just two strokes, she might just make it this year but I see no value in the odds offered. However, her 3 ball interests me, there will be plenty of locker room "ribbing" for anyone losing to "The Big Wiesey", so expect Jeff Gove and Daisuke Maruyama to be extra motivated.
Gove is very inconsistent and my selection will be the Japanese golfer, a PGA tour rookie he finished third in qualifying school and is in good form. He has two top 20's in his last 5 outings including a 5th place finish in the Fedex. Good in opening rounds, his average for the last 6 tournaments is 69.5, he finished with a 66 in the Western Open last week, his lowest ever score on tour.
This is a course where driving accuracy is very important, Michelle has been a bit wayward off the tee recently, Maruyama is currently ranked 11th on tour in this category. He will be looking for a good finish here to cement his playing privileges for next season.
Pressure on Michelle and her long driving will have less impact against the men, especially on longer courses, I have to oppose her.
3 points Daisuke Maruyama to win his 3 ball (15.44 cet) 2.375 general......... might be bigger on betfair later.
........ put this up as a selection, odds are too low for me, but I know that some of you like the short priced picks. The 20 yo Spaniard Nicolas Almagro has come to terms with the tour this year, he is 20-10 on clay and boasts some impressive scalps.
He beat Ferrero, Volandri, and Safin in winning in Valencia, defeated Coria and Ferrero (again) in reaching Barcelona semis, before losing to Nadal in two close sets. Next up he went to Rome and beat Massu, Acasuso and Davydenko , before losing to Federer 7-5 in the third. He has a big forehand and should have too much for today's opponent, Agustin Calleri, who is a good clay courter, but has played very little in europe this year. These are two careers heading in different directions, the Argentine player is almost 30, there should be only one winner today.
Only circa 1.35 available @ Betfair and Pinnacle, but you may want to add it to some multiples, as I said, this will not be classified as a bet. The good run continues, we are 9/11 winners and over 23.5 points profit since Saturday, will have some better priced selections online shortly, please check back.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
The first round, which of course involved weaker teams, averaged 5 goals per game. The 13 second round matches have, to date, averaged 4 , 11 of them had 3 + .
The asian goal line for these games is set at "3", which given the nature of the matches, is fair enough. Tippeligaen normally averages 2.80 goals, a little lower this year, Division 1 is always over 3 goals per game on average.
My choice tonight is Stabaek-Sogndal, this fixture has a history of goals, the last six have produced 4+ , with an average of almost 5. Stabaek have gone over in last 4/5 games and will be looking for goals tonight. We get stakes returned with 3 goals.
3 points over 3 goals Stabaek-Sogndal 1.86 asian line
Anything around 1.60 for over 2.5 goals is worth snapping up.
My first investment today, note that they are "investments" when in form, otherwise they are bets, is for Ramirez-Hidalgo to defeat Feliciano Lopez.
They have never met on the ATP tour, Lopez holds a 3-0 lead in Challenger/Futures meetings, but all were before 2001, so we can disregard them.
Lopez opened with a good win over Volandri, but this was only his third win on clay this year in 10 attempts. You have to go back to 2003 for the last time he had a winning record on the surface. He much prefers hard courts, where his big serve can be seen to it's greatest advantage.
In two previous trips to Gstaad, he has never gone beyond the second round, Feli is likely to be fine tuning his game for the hard court season ahead.
Ramirez-Hidalgo plays almost exclusively on the red stuff and, at the age of 28, is having his best ever year on tour. In 8 years as a pro, he has recorded over 40% of his career wins in the first six months of 2006. He is capable of the odd stinker, losing to Azzaro (ranked287) and Ungur (245) but boasts, wins over Coria (twice, once in Argentina), Gaudio, Safin and Lapentti, all this year.
He reached the quarter finals at Roland Garros and had a good win over Ferrer, en route. On his only previous visit to Gstaad, he made the quarters and will be looking for something similar this time round.
Today, we have the meeting of two men, one who has his objective ahead and the second, who will see this as a major target for the season. I see value in the clay courter, with the greater motivation.
3 points Ramirez-Hidalgo to beat Lopez 1.97 betfair.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Update........ after the restart, Bjorkman broke back. The rain returned just after Waske got back on top and play was suspended for the day. It's a hard way to earn a living !
Score ...... Waske leads 6-4. 4-6, 4-2, Bjorkman serving 15-40.
Update #2 Waske wins 6-3 in the third.
Jonas has had a very tough 3-4 weeks on grass and his 34 yo body is sure to be feeling the strain.If he were not Swedish, I am sure that he would by pass this tournament. In 8 previous visits here, he has lost in the first round on six occasions, once in the second and once in the third.
Bjorkman has no love of the red stuff, on clay this year he is 0-3, he had an identical record last year and was 2-5 in 2004. Thats 2-11 last three years and 3-8 overall in Baastad. He is too good a professional not to try, but this smells of a quick exit and go visit grandma.
Today he meets Alexander Waske , the 31 yo German, is, like JB, a doubles specialist and a seasoned pro.
However, he seems a little more at home on clay than the Swede. This year he is 6-10 on the surface, but beat Vicente, twice a finalist on clay recently, at Roland Garros and lost in a 3rd set tie break to the classy Acasuso in the World Team Championship. He beat the Argentine player in Stuttgart last year, when he was 5-6 on clay.
Jonas won their only previous meeting, this was on a hard court and has little bearing on the match today, where I expect Waske to win.
Looking to keep the good run going, we have had 7/9 winners in the last 3 days and over 19 points profit.
4 points Waske to beat Bjorkman 1.80 pinnaccle/ betfair.
Monday, July 10, 2006
This pains me to write, but I have to pass on some very negative information about Brentford in Division One.
Having followed them, man and boy, for more years than I care to mention, their prospects this year look on the dark side of gloomy. Infact, I would settle for gloomy, but even I, am not that much of an optimist.
BFC have lost in the playoffs the last two seasons and because of enormous financial restraints, they are £8-£10m in debt, were forced to slash/not extend (depends who you believe) the playing budget for this season. High profile manager, Martin Allen, could not accept this and walked out, feel sure that he was expecting a flood of offers, but he has ended up at Milton Keynes Dons, a division lower. I will return to them later in the month. Should add that the budget was, already pretty much shoestring and I, unlike some others, wish MA all the best.
Every player is up for sale if the price is right, wish the last part were true, the price is irrelevant, almost every offer is being accepted by the board.
Automatic promotion was virtually in the bag last season until selling DJ Campbell to Birmingham, this, I accept, was necessary, as the money was needed to pay a tax bill.
However, during the close season, we have sold Jay Tabb, one of the most skilful, hard working players in the division and recently awarded a Republic of Ireland squad call up, for a reported £120k.
Next up Michael Turner, was sold to Hull City for £325k, this is cheap for a classy central defender, who has probably had 3 poor games in as many seasons. Apparently a large chunk of this fee is due to his former club, Charlton.
Sam Sodje, a player of immense potential, will be off any day to Reading, Watford or Swansea, depending on which website you read.
These were the three best players and they have been sold for a pittance, for whatever reason, by this I mean length of contract etc. Also gone are Rankin-Grimsby, Hutchinson-Oxford, Pratley, on loan for almost 2 seasons was allowed to leave and Martin Allen has made enquiries about Frampton and O'Connor.
It has been reported that one director said that, if we could reduce the debt by £1m and finish fifth from bottom, this season will have been a success. Not exactly what you want to hear 4 weeks before the first game.
Not all doom and gloom as we have signed Chris Moore (?) from Dagenham and Redbridge, he may turn out to be a super star and that would delight me, but even his transfer was paid for by a supporter winning a Coca Cola sponsored competition.
Providing no one else leaves, the squad currently consists of 17 players, thats 2 goalkeepers, 5 defenders, 2 midfielders (yes,two) and 8 strikers, of these , 4 are aged 18 and have 3 first team appearances between them. The main striker, Lloyd Owusu, is injured and will miss the start of the season.
Saturday saw the first pre season friendly and Brentford were beaten 3-1 by Staines Town of the Ryman Premier league.
New manager Leroy Rosenior has promised to bring in some players, but given the financial plight of the club, these will have to be budget signings. We currently have a 35 yo former player, stand up Paul Smith, on a two week trial, which says it all really.
Attendances, which have risen steadily over 2-3 years are set to plummet, the fans have had enough.
This is going to be one VERY long season, would love to be wrong, but Brentford are a team to oppose and given their recent record , bookmakers are sure to over estimate the Bees. Already seen that Ladbrokes and VC Bet have them at 12-1 to win the league, which is laughable. Look to the relegation market, Bet 365 have done some homework, they are just 6-1, Bet Fred are 10's, that looks a fair price, you may find bigger.
Corals have odds for the first round of matches (August 5) and offer 3.75 Blackpool to win at Griffin Park, home of Brentford, this will look massive value nearer kick off, especially as I see the visitors as big improvers this year.