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Thursday, 5 September 2013

Betfair versus the Bookies - The Virtues of Value

The blog below is also available on as an edited article.  I have been blogging for GM over the past few months now and am thoroughly enjoying the opportunity given to me by the country's best golf mag.  Thanks TC ; )

Stenson won!  StensWon, as he shall be known forthwith, rewarded loyal backers with a 35/1 Betfair booty bonus and delightfully demonstrated two things.  Firstly, that it’s prudent to peruse the punting purveyors for prices, and secondly that persistence and consistency lead to confidence and prosperity.

Heroic Henrik was 28/1 with BetVictor before the off last week, 25/1 with all other bookmakers, but was being readily layed (or laid, if you’re that way inclined) at 36 on the exchange. 

Minus Betfair’s commission (usually around 4-5% unless you roll high on a regular basis – mine is currently 4.8%), profit on the £20 win-only stake (before being offset against losses) was a devilish 666 pounds and forty pence.  The same money with Mr Chandler would have returned you £560, a shortfall of £106.40.  So don’t get sucked in by those ridiculous Dennis Pennis adverts.
Equally, don’t always assume that you have to be with Betfair to “Cash Out”, or that they are the only firm offering value.  Yes, their interface makes the ability for punters to hedge bets condescendingly easy (as shown below), and yes, they are often better priced than the market (as they were last week for StensWon), but you are not “settling for less” every time you opt to place your bets the old fashioned way.
Rather than "Cash Out", I normally favour hedging my bets manually by "laying off", particularly when I still have faith in my original selection
In this week’s Omega European Masters, with no FedEx Cup stuff in America, focus is fully on Europe, and I like one of the market leaders: Brett Rumford.  Similarly to StensWon (and this also incorporates my second theme: form), the multiple European Tour winning Australian has been in scintillating nick this term, notching up two titles and two strong top ten finishes in the past two weeks. 
Betfair have Rumford at 32 (31/1 in fractional odds).  He is currently 33/1 with and Bet365.  Annoyingly don’t do each-way terms.  This is particularly unfortunate for me since Bet365 restricted my account to Granny-bets after I took them to the cleaners in a three month winning window of wonder earlier this year, but I digress.   
Knock off your commission on a £20 stake with Betfair and you pocket £590.24 with them versus £660 with Bet365 (although don’t expect to be able to get a score on with the Stoke-based bookie the following week if Rumford revels!)
I also fancy Frederik Andersson Hed this weekend (runner-up at the stunning Crans-sur-Sierre last year, sixth in 2011 – again; form, consistency).  I don’t need to demonstrate the mathematics for you to work out that you’re better off with Betfair at 95 than you are with the bookies at 80/1. 
If the prices are the same on the exchange as they are with your bookie, it goes without saying you should take your business to the latter, who won’t take any commission if you win (but will take all your losses if you lose, unlike Betfair, who only take their commission fee).
Clear?  Great!
Aside from the golf, it's been an eventful few weeks at Palphabet towers.  Actually, that's utter drivel because I haven't spent an awful lot of time here at HQ.  I ventured on an eight-day professional sojourn to Melbourne and Sydney, which involved five days of work, two days of enjoyment, and a day of travelling.
The enjoyment came in droves (whatever they are).  Giant scoops of sporting droves served up in a double-schooner of MCG-branded beakers.  Yes, the Melbourne Cricket Ground was every bit the legendary venue it is cracked up to be. 

Talking of crack, or craic, Ireland was my next stop, where our friends’ wedding took us from County Monaghan to Galway City, fuelled by the black stuff and the rich tobacco of tightly rolled Cuban cigars.  All the while the gambling has been going well, until the new Premier League Football season started.
A Full Head on the Pints Only

Mrs Palphabet (right) and Her Pal Jules Sampling the Local Beverages
Finally, a trip last weekend to the Salisbury Plain.  A visit to Richard Hannon’s yard to see my mate’s new syndicated horse, Mr Greenspan.
Hannon's Gallops and Popular Filly Maureen
Up Close and Personal with Mr Greenspan - a HUGE two year-old colt
Watch this space for a more detailed blog on Mr G and the MCG, coming soon.
Continuing to Weave Pure Cotton Enjoyment into The Rich Tapestry of Life


  1. Great photos , especially Up Close and Personal with Mr Greenspan .

  2. Looks like you had a cool weekend)) Well done!