Monday, 25 April 2016

Eye in the sky

Can't believe how many people are dying .. 

Went to see Alan Rickmans' last movie, "Eye in the sky", and rate it a very strong 9/10. It has a very strong cast, with a few people's work, I really admire.








The technology of drones etc, is simply amazing. V sad to see Alan Rickmans dies of cancer .. What a bitch of a disease this is. I am a monthly contributor to societies, hoping to cure the disease, and would implore others, to likewise donate. 

It probably won't help oldies .. But, if u under 40, u might benefit.

//

Really enjoying Los Angeles, but, having 2 winning poker sessions, will help with mind-set. Going to watch the Dodgers baseball tonite ...

Saturday, 23 April 2016

More batty prices.

So, am still here .. 

The poker is beatable, at least on the east coast, where there seem to be more tourists.

The west coast, is the big leagues, and they play a v nitty style, due to the high rake. This forces u to really be patient, and just play top 6% hands, hoping a unknown will sit down, and donate their money.

Sports gambling is really big, and dropped into Kentucky, for a look. It's a beautiful place.

Here are some interesting pics. The only loss of Man o War, well described. Man o War boulevard, which runs thru Lexington, gave me the chills.



The keeneland race meet in April, is 23 meetings, almost daily, and they get 25,000 in on most days, 55,000, at he weekend.

It's $3 to go in, and $3 for a race add, but that's the only value.

It's all tote betting, with a minimum 16% house rake. If a Punter wins more than $1199, they pay 30% government tax. Seems hard to beat to me .. Yet, they queue up, to give it away.

Lines are so big, they have drive-thrus, like McDonald's ... Seriously, WTF ??


Thursday, 14 April 2016

Adjusting to Theme Park price tilt

So, am on the road in the US of A.

It's an expensive place, for mere mortals. Minimum wage in my county is $1 an hr, in Washington it's currently $10, probably going to $15 .. Now, things here are expensive .. Coffee at Starbucks is $4, which is 3 times the price, I would expect to pay .. Nightly rates at basic 3 star hotels, are $100+ ..

Anyway, was getting past all of it, when we hit the theme parks.

4 adults (anything over 11 is an adult), for 2 days at Universal .. $800. The on-site hotel .. $300 a night, plus $22 parking, per day, (don't even think about free breakfast).

U walk in .. Someone takes you pic .. $30. Bottle of water, $2, sometimes $3. 

Fast pass tickets, an extra $200 .. Lines for fast pass, still for some rides, 15 mins. Harry Potter world well done .. But they are taking the piss. $40 for a fucking wand !! It's a little bit of plastic for fucks sake !!

The guy outside gringots has the right idea ..He got the lot.



Thursday, 17 March 2016

Cheltenham 2016

Spent the last 2 days at Cheltenham .. Day 1, as a guest of Betdaq .. who still deem my support of their exchange worthy of hospitality, unlike some other exchanges, who dont.

I havent been, as a punter, for many years, and, the place has been really improved. They have spent bundles, and, its now well laid out, and people can flow, fairly easily .. apart from the Guiness Alley, which was rammed.

Its by no means cheap .. £55 for the tattersalls enclosure, £85 for club. The 10's of touts outside, will sell u one for cheap .. I paid £40 for a tatts tkt on day 2 .. could probably have got it for less. Touts obviously make a great deal of money .. they probably paid £20 or even less for the tkt .. so, just by buying and selling a commodity, they get a wage.

On a racecourse, u see lots of people trying to earn. Either daily security people, who get minimum wage, daily cashiers etc/cleaners/waiters .. its a broad cross-section. Given that they are being paid, maybe £60 for the day, I do wonder why they just dont back the horses, that are 'price-pusshed' in the betting shops, and arb them.

Betfred has a number of outlets on-course, and each day, he let u have a free £10, per £100 invested. Sure, u need the exchange account to hedge, and the ready cash .. but, I saw many people, who had tkts of up to £800 .. in theory, u are only allowed £100 a time, but, there are 10 cashiers a shop, at least 3 shops, and its rammed with people.

The bookies on-course have paid a pretty penny for their rights to bet .. anywhere from .. maybe £5000, to £300,000 for the 50 yr licence .. so, with the expenses associated, they need to bet to a decent margin to recoup their investment. I have no problem with this. Advantage players, will bet by mobile .. at lowest margins .. -- on-course punters, largely are price indifferent .. hard to believe, but true .. and deserve to be shafted.

The cheltenham festival is over 4 days, and, its always in March, and always cold. This year was no different, thou, the rain kept away.

Traffic is manic, and the price of coffee/burgers, sheer robbery, but, the atmosphere, is tremendous, and u do get a chance to meet up, with colleagues etc.

I enjoyed the 2 days ..


Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Free Play scams

As an  'Advantage Player', you should be aware of 'the good stuff', that may occasionally pass u by.

Some of the stories are merely entertaining, others, a little more instructive.

There is a lesson here .. maybe multiple lessons.




Free Play .. is basically credits, which a casino will add to your players card, to entice u into the casino, and get u maybe hooked on slots ..

The amount they give u, is normally quite small .. but, even so, $50 free play, (played thru the machine, by even a basic payer .. should return $45).

At the casino, free play is normally added to your players card, at the customer relations help-desk.

Here are 2 stories :

At one desk .. a player was supposed to be given $100.00, but, was mistakenly given $10000. (oops).

He played off $1000 a day, getting cash-out tickets, which the ATM machines can pay .. they can pay up to $1000.

In all, he banked $9500.

The casino discovered .. and thought about suing for reimbursement. How would u bet ?

In a second case, the comps manager, conspired with a customer relations employee. They tracked which customers were due comps, and what days they normally played.

On days, they didnt come in .. they printed out a new loyalty card, added $500 or so to it, and got a 3rd conspirator, to play it thru the machines.

In all, they got away with $400,000 !!!! (nice one), before a jilted lover, ratted them out (Deeep sigh).


Thursday, 25 February 2016

Downtime .. would be nice

I am trying to get into the habit of reserving Feb/March, as months where my general workload decreases, and, I allow myself some time to think about things.

To help this endeavour, I signed-up for a 4 day painting course (landscapes and shit), not, interior.

I haven't painted for a seriously long time .. and, the overall quality of my colleagues work, was in a different league to mine. Here is the result of 3 days work .. (I got bored, and decided to play golf, on Day 4).








To give some balance .. here is the top picture over 3 days .. painted by a 65 yr old granny .. and a picture from the teacher .. produced in 90 mins.




At times, it wasn't easy to concentrate.

There is a lot of bad news re greyhounds tracks closing .. it seems Wimbledon has weeks left, and Hall Green, potentially, a few months.

These closures, will leave big gaps, and its not hard to envision many more flapping (unlicensed) tracks, than the potentially .. 16 or so, regional stadia, in 5 yrs or so.

There are many to blame for this sad state of affairs .. but, a sad fact is, that new supporters are hard to recruit .. given, the margins a typical on-course bookie works to .. (as he cant take money/balance his book).

Its a vicious circle .. and I don't really see a way out.

The trouble is .. the same can largely be said of horse-racing .. thou, I would be happy, to see maybe 10 of the existing 59 tracks in the UK, close.

There is too much racing, and the product has been diluted // bookies have come to rely on other products. If racing regained some quality, it would give everyone a chance to regroup .. which, is maybe what the industry needs.

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Juggling the Planets

Its been an odd period of time.

Over the last 2 weeks, I have never been so out of kilter, with the market. I dont understand. They are wrong, I am right .. but, no-one understands.

Really fucking weird .. maybe its me, but, my results say otherwise .. hey-ho.

This weekend is Superbowl 50, and listening to many of the NFL podcasts, there are some sports books with a menu of up to 400 prop bets.

The Westgate casino/Sportsbook, went up with 200 or so props, last Thursday. the line of 30 punters, were allowed 2 bets each, before, going to the back of the line .. (the odds for there picks, normally shortened).



Historically, props are great business for the books. The squares, take the over on everything .. wanting to see action, and the sharps take the under, laying the heavy juice, knowing they have the best of it.

In the last 49 superbowls, the game has not gone to overtime. This time, its priced at 1.08 or so. Not a great price .. maybe, but, for bridge-jumpers, good enough.

I miss the US at superbowl time .. even thou, watching in Vegas, would be madness.

Carolina Panthers are 5.5 points fav, and about 1.47, on the moneyline. They were 40/1 at the start of the season .. some people have some nice ante-post wagers. I am with them, but, not at fancy prices.