Thursday, 19 February 2015

Be Happy

So, I shot a 92, last week Tuesday, and thought I was on my way.

So, I played again the next day, in the Club Competition, joining a gang of 3, who played off, 6,11 and 16 respectively.

Par for the course is 72 .. after 2 holes, I knew the handicaps were a joke, but, u cant really say anything, which, I think is wrong. Anyway, they shot 75 (for 3 over par), 77 (for 5 over par), and 82 .. all, about 3-6 shots better than their handicap.

I never enjoy this, as, they are hitting the ball 60 yards past me, every shot, and u feel u are always trying to catch-up. Anyway, I shot 99 .. and didn't enjoy any of it.

Friday, I played again, and was feeling good. I was in the right place mentally .. had taken lots of muscle relaxants (back), pain killers (back), and applied liberal amounts of sunscreen.

On the way to the course, I had given a lift (at 6.50am), to a 13 yr old kid, who was trying to get to an early lesson, before school. People in Africa, can have funny names .. and for some reason, (which he told me), his name was Reindeer.

The kid was v well spoken, and had a clear vision of how he wanted to pass school exams (pass rate at his school, is about 7%), and get a job in the big city, so .. he can get a car/house .. all the normal shit.

We had a good chat ..

Anyway, I get to the golf course, with no excuses. Its a clear day, with a little wind, and really, its begging to be taken apart.

I shot 100 ... and it was appalling.

Anyway, 2-3 chances left before I hit the road ..

Am watching some of the cricket world cup, and have traded the games fairly well. I thought Ireland would give Windies a game, likewise UAE v Zim.

I cant understand why NZ are such big favs to beat Eng tomorrow .. so, will be on the "Mighty England' ..

Monday, 9 February 2015

One-trick Pony

Apart from the masochistic desire for the 90, which, I am currently v down about, you could argue I have very few diversified interests.

Sure, I dabble on shares, and other general gambling themes, but, I maybe dont do as much basic research as maybe I should, in other areas.

Its not that I am lazy - cricket provides a ROI, unheard of, for Poker/AP's (Advantage players-AKA card counters), and its enough .. but, have been diversifying my listening portfolio, and came across a v interesting radio podcast in Las Vegas, called Gambling with an Edge - , and after listening to a dozen or so more, did some more reading.

Via the Las Vegas Advisors website, , I found more of Bob Dancers writing, and its fascinating stuff.

'Bob Dancer' - I am not sure if thats his real name, is a video poker expert .. playing high value slots, when the pay table, pays over 99% or so, which, combined with comps, will make him a small favourite.

His due dilligence, in researching spots, is amazing ..

Its possible you can argue, he is a one-trick pony, being an expert in Video Poker, (thou I somehow doubt it), and it shows u, just how hard you have to work, to find edges, and maintain/exploit them.

Thursday, 5 February 2015


Every one experiences some sort of pressure .. whether it be more than your fair share, or a lot less.

I am starting to feel the 90 on a golf course, is still a ways off, despite having some golf lessons last week, which, helped whilst I was on the range, but, didnt on the golf course (sending the first 3 drives out-of-bounds) . . but, am regularly now shooting 93 or so, and just losing 2 balls less a round, would probably do it.

In my quest, I went to the local driving range .. which, is a bit olde-worlde. You literally get a bucket of very moth-eaten balls, go to a delapidated part of the golf course, and meet up with a 'fetcher', who, watches you dispatch balls, hither, and tries to remember where they went, so, he can retrieve them.

Getting back to my cottage, which, I am holed-up-in, whilst my house is being built, a Bumble-Bee wandered in, and had severe problems getting out. Its buzz, got louder and louder, as it continually tried to climb higher (not knowing, lower was a better solution), and I fleetingly wondered if bees feel pressure .. before it started getting tired, came lower, and I swatted it.

Ok, I didnt - I ushered it out the door .. and it seemed happy to fly off.

 I suppose the biggest pressure sport of them all, the Super-Bowl, saw just how fine an edge, winning and losing can be. For those of u, who didnt watch, the Seahawks had the ball, 2 yards from winning the game, with 30 seconds left, and elected to try to throw the touchdown pass, rather than give it to a star rusher, who would be expected to run the 2 yards, maybe 90% of the time. The pass was intercepted, and they lost. This call, was intensely dissected and criticized, but, few failed to spot, of the 109 previous throws from 2 yards, NONE had been intercepted, so, u can argue, the coach who made the call, was just unlucky.

As u can probably tell from this meandering, I am at a loose end, before the start of the cricket world cup, which, will probably be fairly exciting, but more concerning to me - tiring, as the games are starting at very uncivilsed hours, if u are not in the host location.

As in most of these competitions, Australia are normally favourite, and in the month before the event starts, they tend to get shorter in price, even thou, the price a month ago, seemed short enough.

I have now learnt this trend, and whilst in previous yrs, I would have laid Aus at 3.75, this yr, I backed them, and have now unloaded all of it, at 3.20.

Winning some money from a bookie last yr, I backed in S.Africa at 5.5 and 5.0, and have now unloaded all of this, at 4.1 .. so, in theory at least, I have a decent book.

All the teams have faults. Its inconcievable to me, that W.Indies or Pakistan will win, England also have v little chance, which leaves Sri lanka, India or New Zealand as the only realistic opposition.

Of those, everyone has now cottoned on to the fact, New Zealand are playing really well, but, 7.0, is also no value .. so, am having to sit on the sidelines for now, and will probably look to re-buy Aus and S.Africa, at bigger prices.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Test - S.Africa v W.Indies - Port Elizabeth - Boxing Day

Waiting .. for lotsa stuff, so, gonna fill the void, with some thghts/ramblings.

To set the scene, this is the 2nd test .. test 1 at Centurion, ended in 3.3 days, with West Indies collapsing(with, it might be said, poor preparation/board troubles), like the proverbial cheap suit.

This test, saw S.Africa start a v warm 1.26 fav, and batting first,the money kept coming.

This was derailed a bit, when it rained buckets, on Day 2 and only 6 overs were played.

This rain, has proved v hard to predict - many weather websites have been wrong - some, v v wrong, and the radars have also been useless.

S.African ex-captains have tweeted no play, for hours, only to see play an hr later (tweets interestingly get withdrawn - to save face), and radio/tv commentators, promise good weather, when it doesn't come.

Blame is hard to place - Port Elizabeth is known as the Windy City - and this very wind, makes it almost impossible to forecast, when/if rain will hit, and for how long.

Often, its been a v fine drizzle, .. thou on Day 2 - it was 3 hrs of solid stuff, and the ground must be congratulated for absorbing so much .. we all know of grounds, which wouldn't have coped.

Anyway, enough of the pre-amble.

On Day 4 .. West Indies fell from 230-2, to 275-9, in 14 overs .. and are now 142 runs behind in the 1st inngs, with 1 stick left.

In theory, 98 overs can be played on the last day .. but, current forecasts are indicating rain will maybe only allow 40-75 overs.

Each day, I have driven to the ground - my commute is 80 miles, and find the drive v instructive, weather wise.

I have traded the game pretty well .. I always thought, the rain would bring an early SA declaration,
and won shed loads on various runs mkts - when they declared on 417, when 525 was traded odds-on.

If they had declared under 400, I would have won, a colossal sum.

I have a decent match odds book, which is now weighted towards the draw. This bias is just a factor of time/overs to be bowled .. I like Amla as an aggressive declaration setter, and have v little faith in West Indies batting out 50 overs.

I am posting a snapshot, of one of my books, (I may have others, similar or not), to just add validation .. to me, its pointless blogs saying they won/lost etc, without back-up.

If the overnight rain/early rain is less than on previous days, I will manoevre. In my mind, with 75 overs play, S.Africa will win v easily.

I am v aware, there is a lack of media focus/verification and any morsel of information, is heavily traded. Day 5, could be a very volatile day.I will probably tweet, v infrequently .. and with pictures, which people can interprete for themselves.

If u get misled, by feed, I am genuinely sorry .. but, cannot hold your hands.

(when I posted this on my server, Draw was 1.20 .. 5 hrs later .. 1.12)

Well, what a mess I made if this.

Car drive to ground, was in v good weather, and looking at everything, decided SA were a fair bet at 7.0.

In hindsight, just didn't know, the amount of rain that had fallen during the early hrs, and it appears the ground is saturated.

Nice enough at the ground, with no rain/drizzle for 2 hrs, but, still waiting on pitch inspections, and it's noon.

Very slim chance of a result now, and have turned £9k green, into a small red.

Not my finest hr - but, did little wrong.

Sunday, 28 December 2014

Quality Street

Life is fucked up.

I am sitting in a wet grandstand, watching it rain. It's day 4 of a test match, that has already lost a days play, and it's pretty grim. Ground drainage in South Africa is v good .. Much better than some of the fancy grounds in England, I like to pound upon .. But, the amount of rain, gonna mean a pretty long delay.

And the forecast for Day 5 .. The last day, ain't looking good.

Anyway .. On my drive to the ground (thru solid rain for an Hr) .. I listened to a real gem.

Via a referral from the "Thinking Poker" podcast, which incidentally, has got me hooked on the music of Palmyra .. I have just listened to my first podcast, of "This American Life".

It's episode 541 .. And as luck would have it, it's titled "Regrets"

If here is one thing u do today, download this, and listen to it.

I will try put a link in .. But, the blogger app on the ipad, is pretty basic. (Or .. More likely really, I don't know which button to press, to find the link).

Anyway, the episode is about Regrets .. And makes a very fair point, that, the line is the song, "My way", made initially famous by Frank Sinatra, 'Regrets, I've had a few' .. Is just quality, but, it's killed, by the next line .. 'But then again, too few to mention'.

Everyone has regrets, tons and tons of them .. And it's only really when u hear about other people's lives, that u understand, how lucky, u actually are.

If u don't like podcasts, there is a transcript of the show .. Plse read.

Ok, am gonna post this .. It probably won't look right, but, will fix it later.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Its Christmas .. Bah .. Humbug

And so, its almost Christmas .. with everything, that's supposed to mean, but rarely does.

Maybe its old age creeping on, but, am getting increasingly less tolerant, of people who are either clearly idiots, or have lent their brains, to others less fortunate.

In previous yrs, I would probably have shrugged it off .. but, am finding that option, is becoming rarer and rarer.

It all started, when I tried to log-in to the local cell phone website, to check my data levels.

The website lets u nest multiple numbers, under 1 'super-user' number .. but, unfortunately, if u don't use the super-user number for 180 days, the log-in is disabled, and .. u cant register the nested numbers, as they have been previously associated in the database  ..  thus, ensues, a long twitter/call centre battle, which, is still on-going.

I can understand problems .. and am tolerant etc, especially in Africa .. but, having had 4 chats with call-centre personell, its a bit tiring.

To try and relax, I have been playing poker (golf, is less an option, as my clubs are in a different place, and its a bit hot, anyway).

I was doing rather well in a tournament, with blinds getting quite steep, when the 'new' tournament director, came over, and said this was the last hand, before the table was being broken. Thats fine .. especially as the next hand, I was the big blind.

I picked up a hand, which was marginal, and, as the table was being broken, decided to fold.

Waiting for the table to be broken, the director got a phone call, and said, the table must play on.

I was v unhappy with this .. and vented .. to no avail, and literally threw my toys (in this case, chips), everwhere, when I lost a third of my stack on the next hand, and then they broke the table.

Venting even more, u were expected to move mountains of chips, without the use of table racks .. the staff are really fucking useless .. and I once again vented, letting everyone know, what I felt.

Fuck xmas.

Monday, 1 December 2014

Ups and Downs

Well, after saying potential buyers of world markets should be committed, its me who has done my absolutes.

Whether its various Govts generating growth, or reductions in interest rates, the end result has all been largely the same .. continued rises in various indexes, and more (repeated), margin calls on short positions.

The Dax has gone from 9000, to 9900, .. which is more than unpleasant, and, its been a pretty miserable end to the yr.

Added to this misery, is the relentless expense of building a new house .. which has become a runaway train .. with completion dates, now moved out a month, due to rain, which has restricted building before the key December holidays.

Maybe we can see the project finished by April .. but, will need the weather to help us.

Sport has been ok, but, exceptionally tiring, as games seemed to be scheduled further and further apart, geographically, and its just one plane after another.

Tiring doesn't even come close ..

Golf went on a serious decline, with 100 a more likely candidate than 90, thou, I did manage to shoot a v respectable 93 last week, in v windy conditions. This felt like shooting a 90 .. but, clearly doesn't count.