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S.African ex-captains have tweeted no play, for hours, only to see play an hr later (tweets interestingly get withdrawn - to save face), and radio/tv commentators, promise good weather, when it doesn't come.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

Monday, 17 November 2014

Little grey cells

Sometimes. the key to winning, is putting all the clues together.

Last night, in the 3rd game of a triple header, it rained, on and off, lightly at first, for about 90 mins.

Much as at Paarl, earlier in the week, it was apparent, the umpires wanted to play, if at all possible, and a cut-off time of 9.18pm, was established, from a scheduled start of 6pm.

Many times, just as play seemed about to start, the rain came back, to scupper the plans. The Completed match Market (CMM), went from 1.25 or so, during the 1st innings (someone had an idea, rain was coming), to flipping, at least 5 times.

As the 1st innings had been completed, just 5 overs needed to be found, from about 7.40 pm, but, the rain was persistent.

As it approached 8.45 pm, it seemed everyone had had enough .. the tired ground staff, had moved away, the scoreboard showed msgs giving details of the next game, and asked everyone to have a safe journey home - before the scoreboard, turned the lights off.

We then saw, the cameraman, start to pack away .. and yet the people in the ground still got told nothing - and even the CMM .. had 1.07 No game available.

If ever there was a time, to empty your account .. 25 mins before cut-off, rain falling, puddles everywhere .. this was it.


Some pics from the night  ...  weather trading can be brutal.

Friday, 31 October 2014

Month-end round up

Gonna be a busy few weeks ahead, with the Ram Slam tourny on, so will try and tie up, a few loose ends.

Been playing golf, sometimes 3 times a week .. and scores have become regular 93/94/93 .. which normally includes 2-3 lost balls (out of bounds). The driving is an issue - especially early on in the round,when I am not warm - but, there is hope.

Have hit some phenomenal shots (just not enough of them) .. with the highlight, being a v tricky, and long, 452 yard par 4 (stroke 2), albeit downhill. It needs a v straight and long drive, and then a v long second. In previous hits, have never been within 100 yards of the flag, but, one day, I hit a great drive, and a 3 wood, to 2 metres !!

Hopefully the elusive 90 will come next month .. will definitely try.

The stocks markets behaved in the first half of the month, but, although I closed my shorts at a good time, I reopened them, at a bad time, and gave a lot back. The kids recovered all their losses, and are now showing profits of 700 and 200 respectively .. shows what can be done, if u just trade to 1-2% of your bank.

(I forgot to add, WorldStock markets are at all-time highs, or as near as dammit, following the opening of the various candy stores, by 'people in charge')

Anyone who goes long (buys), is, IMHO, certifiable .. at least on a 1 yr basis .. but, as we all know, the market can stay 'wrong' for a long time.

Monday, 13 October 2014

A few good calls

 2 weeks ago, I mentioned in my Blog ..

I am negative of the financial markets, and think the AliBaba IPO, may have marked a top, in the US and UK exchanges. I am aggressively short ..

Well,  we have had some ups, but, many more downs, in the last 2 weeks, and this is working out, real good.

Unfortunately .. or maybe fortunately .. the kids, have turned, respective profits of 700 and 80, into losses of 2000 and 450 .. but, I am happy they are learning.


I played some Poker last night, for the first time in about 8 mths. It was a cash game, 50c/$1, with a high rake, so, it was more relaxing than anything else, but, ran like Bolt, for about an Hr, and finished winning, $400, having cleaned everyone out. No real great hands, just didnt lose many. Towards the end, small stacks, were putting it in, fairly light :

Seat 1 .. UTG , all, in, for $20
Seat 2, calls for $20
Seat 3, calls for $20 (a fish, I had beaten, relentlessly, last 4 hands - for maybe $80)

I look down, at 4♦, 5♠  .. so call.

Seat 5, also calls .. Big pot ..

Flop comes,  A♥, 4♥, 5♣ ..

Its checked to me, and I bet $45, into a pot, of $100. Seat 1 is All-in, and just Seat 3, calls.

Turn, is 9♠ .. I bet $75, and he calls again.

River, is 2♠, making a board of .. A♥, 4♥, 5♣, 9♠, 2♠ .. anyone with a 3, has a straight, but figure I am good, and bet, $40, to put the fish all-in.

My 2 pair was good .. Happy days.


Am reading an excellent book, on Professional Blackjack .. its a must-read, if into Blackjack/Casinos/etc.