New Life

One Simple Truth: Live your Life

Let’s be honest and admit that the modern corporate script involves selling your own wishes and dreams for paychecks. I know that a lot of us have played along with it because of necessity, but this is not a way of life to cling to, it’s a way of life to escape.

You are meant to live your life. Yes, I know it can seem hard, but it’s the only life that’s really worth living. You have to give meaning to your life, and you’ll never get it by following the televised script and hoping for pats on the back from the people who are playing along with you.

This life you have is precious. Human beings are engines of creation; we are able to imagine and to turn our imaginations into reality. And we are capable of supercharging our creative abilities by sharing our lives and loves with other people. We are astonishingly capable creatures.

Don’t waste all your life’s abilities in a corporate cubicle. You’ve already seen how that goes: Work excessive hours, go home tired, watch TV, sleep, and start over. Your kids end up in mini corporate worlds called “schools,” where they are taught to sit, be quiet, obey, and turn off their internal desires and loves. If you play that game you’ll miss most of your life in the process, as well as most of your children’s lives.

Once you get some corporate inertia going, it is all too easy to get sucked into it permanently. Don’t let that happen to you.

 

A 360 turn

Wake up and see the world as it is. Turn off the talking heads on TV and get to know the real world. Stop spending all your brain cycles ( if you have any left) on celebrities, sports heroes and gossip hounds – get to know your neighbor and the old woman who lives around the corner, strike up a friendship with someone on the other side of the world. Travel. Spend your time with real people; get to know them, and reveal yourself to them. It only seems weird because the people who programmed you didn’t want you to think freely.

Start doing what you love. Don’t wait for someone else, do it yourself. Start helping your friends and neighbors, spend serious time with your children – not at a game or a party, but just you and them, talking. Find out what they love. Let them know you.

Start living, not merely existing. DO the things you feel an urge to do. And don’t fall into the usual trap of “what if I make a mistake?” That’s simply fear-based conditioning. Resist it. Do what you love, and in so doing, you will turn yourself on.

Are you going to go through your whole life and never follow your own wishes, always sacrificing them to the tyranny of other peoples’ opinions? Please don’t do that to yourself – you’ll suffer greatly for it when you’re old.

Screw all the expectations 

Drop Out

Stop wasting your time and energy on governments and arguments and politics. Drop out of their mindset and start reclaiming all those wasted hours. Lying politicians are simply not worth your devotion. Drop the endless party fights and stop arguing about them. Politics is ugly, and politics on the brain makes us ugly.

Stop paying attention to the hundreds of ads you see every day – they are scientifically designed to grab your thoughts. Turn away. Stop buying trendy things, and definitely stop buying things for the purpose of impressing other people.

Stop trying to fit in, and stop living according to other people’s expectations. Let them call you weird. Let them talk about you. Stop caring about it. If they were real friends, they wouldn’t treat you like that. So if they are willing to call you names, you’re better off dropping them now.

Don’t fight the system – that just keeps all of your energy and attention focused on them. Forsake the system and start creating a better life for yourself, the people you love and the people you respect. Stop giving all your life’s energy to a barbaric system of force and manipulation.

Let the system go; all of it. Move on and let it rot where it sits.

Let go of the plan addiction. Life is organic, not mechanical.

First of all, you need to identify what you want to create with the precious life you’ve been given. Not what you want to stop, but what you want to make.

If you’ve never been told to do this before it may seem hard, but you can do it if you try.

Don’t sit and wait. Stop talking and start doing.

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The US versus the UK betting market

The United States has a very large gambling market. Las Vegas in Nevada is one of the most famous gambling locations in the world and almost every state in the U.S. has its own casino. However, when it comes to sports betting, the situation isn’t so bright. Nevada, Oregon, Montana, and Delaware are the only four states in which sport betting is allowed and that is only due to special laws. New Jersey famously tried to join the sports betting states and failed after athletic leagues went to court to overrule their state legislation. However, the battle is not over. Despite being considered a Western, liberal country, the U.S., officially, is on the conservative side when it comes to gambling.

However, this says nothing about the demand for sports betting in the U.S. Many Americans simply turn to the internet for their sports betting needs. Online betting in the U.S. started in 1996, and became a huge market. There are no official numbers about the size of the market but modest estimate i around 12 billion dollars, while pretentious estimates are as high as 400 billion dollars. This stands in stark contrast to the second-largest gambling market after the U.S. – the U.K. In the United Kingdom sports betting have been legal since the 1960s. There are around 9000 betting shops in the U.K. where people can place bets with a licensed bookmaker. Yet the U.K. gambling market is estimated at around 6 billion pounds, a modest number in comparison to the U.S. The differences in market size can stem from different causes such as the much larger population of the U.S. the fact that British are much more careful spenders then American, and that they spend less time on the internet.

Legally, online sports betting in the U.S. is a gray area when it comes to individual people placing online sports bets. The enforcement of laws against online gambling focus mainly on those who process gambling transactions and operators that offer online gambling transactions to U.S. gamblers. The simple gambler isn’t affected by these laws; in fact, no one in America ever went to jail because of online gambling. Despite the different arguments for legalizing sports betting in the U.S., which include the substantial monetary profit for the country, it seems that it won’t happen any time soon. Part of the reason for this is the resistance of athletic leagues to legalization, because they fear it will hurt the integrity of the games themselves.

Despite their athletic leagues’ resistance to legalizing sports betting, the online betting industry continues to bloom in America. In fact, many Americans see betting on a game as an integral part of their sport experience. For example, the most watched sporting event in the U.S., the super bowl, is also a record-breaker when it comes to bets. 4.2 billion dollars were placed in bets on the super bowl 50 (2015), most of it was placed illegally.

The Super bowl is a great example of the American betting market. The most dominant sport in the U.S. when it comes to betting is football, followed by baseball, basketball and hockey. While for our friends across the pond, the most popular sport by far is soccer, followed by tennis and horse racing. This creates two distinct sports betting markets.

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Formula 1 and Betting

Globally 425 million people are known to watch Formula 1 races on television a figure which could possibly be boosted by an additional 40% when taking into account people viewing unaccountably via illegal online streams.

No, its audience is not going to numerically compete with World Cup Soccer but it dwarfs the Superbowl’s 120 million viewers the vast majority of which cannot legally bet on the event anyway.

The biggest question is why online bookmakers haven’t embraced the sport with open arms.  After all, research indicates the betting account of a typical Formula 1 fans is worth three times that of a traditionally sourced punter.

Considering eighty percent of the average online bookmaker’s profits come from just twenty percent of their customers, you would imagine the DHL, Allianz and UBS signage would have been torn down long ago and replaced by the likes of Bet365 and Betfair/Paddy Power  …the latest conglomerate seeking to take over the online gambling world.

Eurobet.com made a big effort with Formula 1 back in 2001 sponsoring the TWR Arrows Team.  But they were ahead of their time.  As were Interwetten, the first company to offer online betting in 1997.  Their flirtation with F1 came in 2012 when they had a few small stickers on the Lotus cars for a few races.

But ours is not to question.  As punters, ours is to take advantage and this is a sport which offers ample betting opportunities within an industry which seemingly employs a limited number of people to recognise statistical techniques when devising their betting markets.

In fact, F1 betting markets ultimately seem to be driven by a good old-fashioned weight of money which pours in on the back of consequences and commentator’s statements.

The consequences include a Ferrari qualifying anywhere near the front of the starting grid at the Italian Grand Prix. The passionate Italian’s always pour their Euro’s on their beloved red cars at prices woefully short of the true probability of them prevailing.

 

Of course, this revolves around in-running markets, which is a real interesting area of F1 punting.  In the very best traditions of Betfair be very aware, what is described as live coverage is not live more often than not.  There is always a lag, in the UK it ranges between 4sec and 8sec.  Overseas broadcasters deliver their pictures with an even greater delay, up to 30sec in some instances.

Of course, there are very few domestic in-play punters that are not aware of this.  But the 422.5 million other viewers who may decide to place an in-play race bet at any time are probably not so street-wise. But the bookmakers are often caught unaware as quick-fingered diligent punters can often find an angle courtesy of social media.

Put simply, Twitter is an invaluable information feed which can be used in an identical fashion to stock market traders eagerly awaiting news and trading figures down high-speed news wires.

Case in point:  Lewis Hamilton needing a gearbox change following a practice session at the 2012 Chinese Grand Prix.  His team announced the component change, which resulted in a mandatory five-place grid penalty, as soon as they were aware of the problem.

But time-zone differences meant the British bookmaking odds compilers were sound asleep when the news the race favorite had been handed a crippling disadvantage was made public …and their betting markets remained unchanged for hours.

Without knowing the first thing about Formula 1 racing, it is very clear there is money to be made using nothing more than common sense.  In fact having no interest in or knowledge of F1, or any other sport you bet on, is a huge benefit.

Most punters would be better punters if subconscious preconceived ideas were removed from their psyche.  We all have favorite teams, jockey’s, trainers, racecourses etc and we are all guilty of being influenced by those likes (and dislikes). So use every tool in your box when punting on F1.  This includes employing an accurate weather forecaster.

As it stands the major firms price up the proceeding F1 race moments after the cars cross the line but that race could be two or three weeks away.  The markets normally remain pretty much unchanged until the Tuesday before the race.  By that time, you might have just been made aware of a tropical storm which is due to land on the racetrack.

Wet conditions, just like a change in going for a racehorse, can make the form book redundant.

betfairtrading

Betfair Trading Management

Successful sports trading in Betfair or any other online betting exchange depends a lot on proper money management. It may only seem important to pick up the online betting odds movements correctly, but applying money management in trading the online betting odds will make money for serious sports traders. If we are just starting out trading the odds, managing our betting bankroll will certainly make us last a lot longer in this trading game.

To begin with we should define a starting online betting bankroll which we will use exclusively for trading and we won’t be upset if we lose it. If that happens, we will consider it as the fee we paid to learn about money management and how to trade correctly. However if we are proven to be good in trading, we would increase our capital without the risk of losing it and actually make money. Whatever the scenario, having put aside a specific figure for our available capital helps a lot in various ways and it looks a lot more professional.

Now that we have defined our trading capital, we divide it in 50 equal parts. For example, if our bankroll is €1000, we have 50 parts of €20. The reason behind this is to always risk no more than 2% of our bankroll at any time. Risking that much of our betting bankroll means that we will continue trading even after 40 losing trades. Variance can kill our trading game and we should properly think of our money management plans, so that we can continue testing our method or change it and try something else, but with a sufficient bankroll to work with. We then go on and divide our bankroll left again in 50 equal parts. For every new trading strategy we try, we always start by splitting our trading bankroll in 50 parts. The biggest the risk you want to take, the fewer those parts should be, meaning increasing the percentage of your bankroll you stand to lose in each trade or bet. For instance, you might find more appropriate to risk 5% of your available trading capital in each trade, which would lead you to divide your bankroll in 20 equal parts. However, a bad run of 20 losing trades would wipe out your whole bankroll. My opinion is to always start out with 2% of your capital and to increase your risk after 500 completed trades and a proven winning trading strategy, targeting higher returns and making money.

The next step we should be taking is defining our stop loss, the point that is we would close our trading positions. The stop loss is always defined in comparison with the amount we enter in each trade. Let’s examine an example for better understanding.

Let’s assume your trading bankroll is €1,000, you’ll be risking 2% in each trade and you’ll be trading in-play footbal matches. You have a very basic trading strategy starting by backing the favorite team and want to apply money management. In the upcoming football game between X and Y teams, X team is traded at 2.00 betting odds. You begin your trading by backing €100 at 2.00. Given the fact that you risk 2% of your €1,000, if the odds reach 2.20 you should exit the market since by laying €100 at 2.20 you’d have lost -€20.00 on X team. So, your stop loss is 2.20.

This is not however the whole story. There is a relation between the stop loss and the betting odds movement. If the X team’s odds were 1.50, your stop loss would be 1.70. But moving from 1.50 to 1.70 there are 20 steps, the so called “ticks”. Moving from 2.00 to 2.20 there are only 10 ticks (2.00-2.02-2.04-…-2.18-2.20). So, while in the 1.50 occasion you risk €20 on a 20 tick movement, in the other situation you risk the same amount on a 10 tick movement. That is why we should change our stop loss depending on the ticks’ value. Instead of 2% of our capital we will define our stop loss at a 10 tick movement. You can obviously put your stop loss wherever your strategy tells you better. After defining the number of ticks of your stop loss, you should calculate those ticks’ value to be equal to 2% of your bankroll. If for instance you have 10 ticks as a stop loss, each tick should be valued at €2.

Let’s do a small revision so that we don’t get lost in the money management maze. We have €1,000 as our trading capital, we risk €20 per trade and our stop loss is 10 ticks. Depending on the team’s odds, we now calculate the amount we should be trading according to the odds as follows:

  1. 1.01-2.00: We trade €200 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss.
  2. 2.00-3.00: We trade €100 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss.
  3. 3.00-4.00: We trade €40 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss.
  4. 4.00-6.00: We trade €20 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss.

If now we intend to green up  on all the possible outcomes of a game, we can increase the above amounts by just a little, since in the end we won’t be losing €20 but less after greening up. For example, €20 loss at 1.50 would mean that by backing €13.3 we would lose €13.3 whatever the outcome, while €20 loss at 4.00 would mean that by backing €5 we would lose €5 whatever the outcome. In other words, we should be trading with 2.66 (=4.00/1.50) times more money at 4.00 than at 1.50 so that the final loss would be equal.

Because maths can be confusing at times, we will calculate the final amounts we should be trading with, according to the mean price of the betting odds.

  1. 2.00-3.00: 2.50/1.50 = 1.66 times the amount we calculated earlier.
  2. 3.00-4.00: 3.50/1.50 = 2.33 times the amount we calculated earlier.
  3. 4.00-6.00: 5.00/1.50 = 3.33 times the amount we calculated earlier.

In conclusion we will be trading with the following amounts:

  1. 1.01-2.00: We trade €200.
  2. 2.00-3.00: We trade €166.
  3. 3.00-4.00: We trade €93.2.
  4. 4.00-6.00: We trade €66.6.

By trading the above figures and greening up in the end, we will always lose €13.3 in case of losing. We wanted €20, remember? We just have to multiply the above numbers by 1.50 (=20/13.3). So, for a trading bankroll of €1,000 and 10 ticks stop loss:

  1. 1.01-2.00: We trade €300 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss after greening up.
  2. 2.00-3.00: We trade €250 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss after greening up.
  3. 3.00-4.00: We trade €140 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss after greening up.
  4. 4.00-6.00: We trade €100 so that a movement of 10 ticks to result in €20 win/loss after greening up.

Depending on your bankroll, the % you want to risk per trade and the stop loss, you can change the figures above. If you have €500, you halve the figures. If your stop loss is 5 ticks, you double the figures. If you risk 6% of your bankroll, you triple the amounts.

 

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UK Financial EndGame

The simple truth is UK financial system is screwed.

If interest rates were at their historically ‘normal’ rate of 5% — instead of the all-time low of 0.5% they’re at right now — there’s absolutely no way Britain could ever repay its debts.

In fact, at normal rates of interest UK is already bust. Not just ‘in over our heads’ but six feet under.

It’s simple maths. If interest rates moved back towards the normal 5% level, our cost of borrowing would triple.

Just to put that into context, if our current debt repayments tripled, the government would have to take drastic action — like abolishing the state pension. Or privatizing the NHS. Or pushing tax rates back up to 90%, as they were in the 1960s.

In short, Britain would change radically.

And that’s just if interest rates move back to ‘normal’ levels.

Now you are probably thinking ‘there’s no way the Bank of England or the government would let this happen’. You think they’d act to prevent it.

You are right. They are about to act. They are considering abolishing your cash to keep a tight control on your money.

UK citizens may not think of themselves as an extreme economy like Argentina. Or Cyprus. Or Greece. But the reality of it is: IT’S the same.

In fact, UK has borrowed far more than any of those nations. The perception is that UK economy is too important. That Britain is too big to fail.

Don’t believe it.

What you are about to see is the end-game of Britain’s colossal accumulation of debt. And it is a ticking time bomb.

In this scenario, debt is the gunpowder… it has made our entire system prone to combustion.

Interest rates are the spark that will set the whole thing off.

Those in charge of the financial system know it.

They will do everything they can to delay the explosion of Britain’s debt bomb.

And that’s why they could be on the verge of implementing draconian measures:

Total control of your money.

bundesliga

5 questions about Bundesliga 2015-2016

 

Raphael Honigstein is ESPN FC’s German football expert and poses 5 questions about the new Bundesliga.

The 53rd Bundesliga season starts on Friday night when champions Bayern Munich take on perennial underachievers Hamburger SV at the Allianz Arena.

In Germany, many are convinced that the Reds will win a historic fourth consecutive title to underline their dominance, but there’s also a widespread belief that they will be pushed a lot harder by the competition than they have been in recent years.No such consensus exists about the makeup of the rest of the table, however. The Bundesliga is a league in which financial minnows like Augsburg can finish in fifth place on the back of a £30 million budget and giants are regularly sucked into the relegation fight. As such, after Bayern, it will once again prove incredibly unpredictable. Here are the five key questions for the next 10 months.

1. How will the Pep Guardiola situation resolve itself?

Bayern knew that the Catalan was not an ordinary manager, but they’re still taken aback by the unusual scenario they find themselves in ahead of their third season with the 44-year-old.

The club are sold on Guardiola’s coaching capabilities, perhaps more so than with any other manager in living memory, regardless of public perception. But Karl-Heinz Rummenigge and the other bosses are also frustrated by Guardiola’s reluctance to commit himself to Sabener Strasse beyond next summer.

The culture at the club is one of a frank, blunt exchange of views, with fallouts and makeups, not enigmatic silences and whispered insinuations via intermediaries. Bayern are used to getting their way. Failing that, they much prefer a timely rejection to drawn-out uncertainty.

Guardiola, on the other hand, seems to regard the pressure on him to make up his mind as counterproductive. He’s cut an exasperated figure before the first ball has been kicked in the league, and in turn, his bad mood has only made his superiors more anxious. The squad is so devastatingly good that the fallout on the pitch will be limited, but the impasse cannot go on forever. Every unconvincing performance and poor result will feed into the atmosphere of unease, and a coach short on patience could find it hard to keep the deeply stacked squad happy.

By Christmas at the latest, Guardiola will have to show his hand. Ironically, him leaving might not prove detrimental in the short term. His predecessor, Jupp Heynckes, won the treble after his departure at the end of the 2012-13 campaign was announced in January.

2. Just how good will Thomas Tuchel’s Borussia Dortmund be?

Twelve months ago, Dortmund’s squad was widely rated the best ever, and the Black and Yellows were seen as favourites to win the title in some quarters, too. It played out differently, with Dortmund fighting against relegation for the first half of the season and Jurgen Klopp departing in May.

But Germany’s second force of the current decade are poised to bounce back strongly in 2015-16. The new coach, 41-year-old Thomas Tuchel, is already making waves with his extreme attention to detail and a tactical flexibility designed to make Dortmund’s high-pressing game more sustainable and less one-dimensional.

A very deep squad that hasn’t lost any of its key players (for a change) will give Tuchel plenty of options to rotate and react during and between matches. Players like Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Marco Reus and Ilkay Gundogan look as if they can reach former levels of excellence under the Swabian’s guidance. A long run in the Europa League might make challenging of the title against Bayern a tall order, but Dortmund will provide plenty of thrills. Maybe there will be a bit of silverware as well.

3. Will we see a return of the elite clubs?

1980s big boys Hamburger SV could well continue where they left of in recent seasons and start their campaign by getting hammered by Bayern. Optimism is in short supply in the port city following their embarrassing first-round DFB Cup exit at the hands of fourth-division Carl Zeiss Jena; another nerve-wracking relegation fight might well loom for Bruno Labbadia’s team.

Other big, traditional teams look better placed to get into the right half of the table again. Under new coach Alexander Zorniger, a pressing disciple from the Ralf Rangnick stable, VfB Stuttgart should be much improved. The 2007 champions should have a shot at the Europa League spots. Werder Bremen, perennial Champions League contestants not too long ago, have lost key striker Franco Di Santo to Schalke, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone if Viktor Skripnik were to lead them to a top-10 finish in his first full season in charge.

Armin Veh’s teams tend to either over- or underachieve, but who’s to say that Eintracht Frankfurt don’t go on another one of those crazy runs? And Borussia Monchengladbach, last year’s biggest feel-good story for all neutrals, will surely be hard to shift from the top of the table. The Foals looked really strong in their 4-1 win over St. Pauli in the Cup. This well could be the season when the blue chips hit back against the upstarts like Augsburg, Mainz and Hoffenheim, who have been exploiting the old elite’s poor coaching and player dealings for a few years.

4. Is Andre Breitenreiter the manager Schalke have been crying out for?

Since Huub Stevens’ first spell in charge (1996-2002), no Royal Blues manager has been able to hold the job down for two full seasons. Boardroom upheaval, bad decisions in the player market and plain wrong appointments have prevented the Gelsenkirchen club from fulfilling its considerable potential.

Can new boss Andre Breitenreiter break the mould and take the club forward? The 41-year-old has been given the nod after getting relegated with SC Paderborn, but Schalke have seen past the results and focused on a body of work that suggests that he can combine man-management with tactical knowledge, while having broad enough shoulders to deal with the frantic expectations.

The squad, a fine blend of local talents like Julian Draxler and Max Meyer plus seasoned pros like Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, certainly brims with untapped potential. A simple improvement won’t do, in light of the strength of the competition for the Champions League places, but if Breitenreiter can get Schalke to play as well as Paderborn did — at the very limit of the players’ abilities — a positive season awaits.

5. Will there be a fourth miracle at the Bollenfalltor?

“We don’t belong to the Bundesliga,” SV Darmstadt 98 coach Dirk Schuster said in May. He was wrong: Darmstadt made it back to the top flight for the first time in 33 years. Their thoroughly improbable run (with a total budget was £5.8 million) followed a stunning promotion to the second division in 2014, and a lucky last-minute escape from relegation to the fourth division in 2013.

They were only saved by another side, Kickers Offenbach, failing to get a professional licence. Few people think the “Lilies” will blossom next season, but their defiantly unmodernised, 16,000-capacity stadium and never-say-die spirit could surprise a few people again.

 

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in Library

Few hints before start spread betting

Before you place a bet, work out your worst case scenario should a bet go against you. For example, a football Total Goal Minutes bet is much more volatile than a football Total Goals bet and you may want to ensure your selected stake size reflects this.

• If you are a little nervous ahead of making your first bet, why not try a ‘paper trade’ where you write down your chosen bets and then record the profit or loss that each would have recorded. This helps you understand more about the volatility of different markets and how sports spread betting works.

• Try and bet on markets you know about. If you have a great understanding of golf and follow the game closely then it follows that our golf spread betting markets may make more sense to you than our NFL markets.

• If you are intending to bet on a market in-play (i.e. when you can open and close your bets during the match or event), try and make sure you are able to watch your event. If you are on top of the action it gives you greater opportunity to put your bets on at the right time.

• Stick to your betting plans! It’s all too easy to start raising your stake sizes after a couple of wins or even to chase your losses. However, remember that increased stake sizes can mean increased losses should the bet go against you. As per rule one, always work out your worse case scenario each time so you know what you are risking when you place your bet.

Celebration champagne

The 10 most profitable spread bets of 2013

Top 10 Sports Spread Bets of 2013

Take a look at our top ten spread betting moments of the year below to gain betting inspiration for 2014!

10. TENNIS
Novak Djokovic v Juan Martin Del Potro Total Points, Wimbledon semi-final, 5/7/13
Winning margin: 128 times original stake
Andy Murray made history in 2013 by actually smiling when he became the first British male to win Wimbledon in 77 years in July.
But why did his nemesis Novak Djokovic not put up a sterner test in the final? Because he was still shattered from his incredible encounter with Juan Martin Del Potro in the semis just two days before, that’s why.
The Argentine pushed Djokovic all the way in the longest ever Wimbledon semi-final in history which ended with the Serb squeaking home 7-5, 4-6, 7-6, 6-7, 6-3 in four hours and 43 minutes.
Spread betters who bought Total Points at 240 made 128 times their original stake when the players contested 368 points in total during the match.
Those who put their money on the match being a short-lived affair were left to cry into their strawberries and cream.

9. CRICKET
Chris Gayle Player Performance, Bangalore v Pune, 23/4/13
Winning margin: 170 times original stake
Chris Gayle’s unbelievable batting display in the IPL in April had the purists purring as the West Indies captain hit the fastest-ever century in professional cricket on his way to 175 not out.
The man-mountain reached triple figures in just 30 balls for the Royal Challengers Bangalore, eventually smashing 17 sixes and 13 fours in an astonishing unbeaten knock.
If that wasn’t enough, Gayle also chipped in with two late wickets with the ball.
For spread betters who bought his Player Performance quote at a meagre 45 (spread based on 1pt per run scored, 20 per wicket taken, 10 per catch taken and 25 points per stumping), it meant profits of 170 times their original stake size as the market made up at 215.
Anyone getting against Gayle on this occasion would have been left well and truly stumped.

8. DARTS
Taylor v Lewis Multi 180s, Grand Slam of Darts semi-final, 17/11/13
Winning margin: 191.5 times original stake
Some say it’s one of the best games of darts of all time. When world number one Phil Taylor went head-to-head with fierce rival Adrian Lewis in the semi-finals of the Grand Slam of Darts at Wolverhampton Civic Hall in November, the pair hit a PDC record of 32 maximums during a scintillating display of ‘arrers’.
Such was the quality on show during the battle between the two Stoke-born players that Lewis lost despite averaging 110.99.
Shrewd spread betters who bought Multi 180s (Taylor’s total 180s multiplied by Lewis’ total 180s) at 60.5 made profits of 191.5 times their original stake when the market settled at 252.
Those who sold on the spread were left to appreciate the high standard on show if not the lighter feel to their wallets.

7. CRICKET
Fall of 1st England Wicket, Australia A v England Ashes warm-up match, 8/11/13
Winning margin: 262 times original stake
England ended the year losing the Ashes. We all know that. And it was painful. Yes, they were rubbish. Humiliated. Embarrassed.
However, it didn’t look like it was going to be this way after a 3-0 summer series win over Michael Clarke’s men and then a promising performance from new opening pair captain Alastair Cook and Hampshire hitter Michael Carberry in a tour warm-up match Down Under against Australia A in Hobart in November.
In what was to be a rather misleading display of form, Cook made 154 before retiring out and Carberry 153 before stepping down in the same way.
Spread betters who bought Fall of 1st England Wicket at 56 made 262 times their original stake size when the market settled at 318.
Sellers were out of pocket on this occasion, but were in the money when the real action began as Cook and Carberry flopped spectacularly.

6. FOOTBALL
Shirt Numbers, Rubin Kazan v Dinamo Moscow, Russian Premier League, 26/9/13
Winning margin: 269 times original stake
Whatever happened to the former Blackburn and QPR centre-half Christopher Samba? He went to play in the Russian Premier League that’s what.
And when the giant Dinamo Moscow defender put into his own net against Rubin Kazan in a league match in November it sparked a payday for spread betters buying goalscorers’ Shirt Numbers.
Samba was wearing number 84 (own goals count towards the total in this market) and other scorers in the 2-2 draw included Gokdeniz Karadenis wearing 61, Aleksai Ionov wearing 99 and Alexander Kokorin wearing 91.
It meant a make-up of 335 and profits of 269 times the original stake for anyone who bought at 66.
Punters who were backing a low goalscoring affair were left to rue the Russians’ penchant for high team squad numbers.

5. FOOTBALL
Total Goal Minutes, Man City v Arsenal, Premier League, 14/12/13
Winning margin: 368 times original stake
Manuel Pellegrini may not sport a scarf in the stylish manner that his predecessor did, but he certainly stuck his neck out in his commitment to football with flair at the Etihad after taking over from Roberto Mancini.
It’s been goals galore at home for the Citizens since the Chilean took over at Manchester City and the most spectacular of these net-busting occasions was arguably the 6-3 dismantling of Arsenal in December.
A clutch of late goals helped bump Total Goal Minutes (the aggregate minutes of all goals scored in a game) to a huge 531 meaning punters who bought at 163 made 368 times their original stake.
Sellers of Total Goal Minutes were left with a painful experience – however, given City’s free-scoring record ahead of this game, those going short were few and far between.

4. FOOTBALL
Corners Squared, Roma v Cagliari, Serie A, 25/11/13
Winning margin: 541 times original stake
When former Arsenal misfit Gervinho struggled in front of goal for Roma in a 0-0 draw against Cagliari in Serie A in November, most football fans would have been grateful they hadn’t watched the game.
However, those with a knowledge of football spread betting are aware there is much more to trading the game than merely betting on straightforward markets such as the match outcome or number of goals.
Punters who took on Spreadex’s infamous Corners Squared market (total number of match corners taken, squared) would have been astonished to see 26 corners taken in total during the match.
Buyers at 135 made 541 times their original stake when the market made up at 676.
Anyone selling on any of the large choice of corner-related markets was caught flagging on this occasion.

3. HORSE RACING
The Grand National – Multi-Mules: 6/4/13
Winning margin: 550 times original stake
Everyone loves a flutter on the Grand National. Usually it’s your nan or next door neighbour putting their one £5 fixed odds bet per year on a horse they like the colours of.
But for spread betters there are a whole plethora of betting opportunities on the nags.
Multi-mules is a popular market which multiplies the racecard number of the winning horse with the racecard number of the second placed horse and aggregates them for all races across a meeting.
On Grand National day at Aintree, Aurora’s Encore romped home wearing 35 from Cappa Bleu wearing 18, meaning Multi-Mules made up 630 for this race alone.
Across the whole day, Multi-Mules made up at 1304, meaning spread betters who bought at 754 made 550 times their original stake size.
Those going short on this particular market on this day were left feeling like donkeys.

2. FOOTBALL
FA Cup First Round – Cross Goals: 9/11/13
Winning margin: 703 times original stake
The early rounds of the FA Cup often throws up a few mismatches with non-league sides facing rather more organised and far fitter lower league teams.
This was the case in the first round proper in November with some of the high-scoring results including Mansfield winning 8-1 at St Albans, Brentford thumping Staines 5-0, Preston hammering Barnet 6-0 and Leyton Orient quashing Southport 5-2.
Spread betters who bought First Round Cross Goals (total home team goals multiplied by total away team goals) at 2,356 made a profit more than 700 times their stake size when goals aplenty across all the ties saw the market settle at 3059.
For anyone predicting a day of few goals it was a first round to forget.

1. RUGBY UNION
Rugby U20 World Cup, England Multi-Points, England v USA, 13/6/13
Winning margin: 1,415 times original stake
You can spread bet on almost any market on any sport you can imagine. How about England Under 20s’ first half points multiplied by their second half points in the Rugby Under 20 World Cup group game against USA in Vannes, France in June?
Didn’t jump out at you at the time? Well, those that bought on the spread at 1,513 were left in punters’ dream land when England romped in 48 points in the first half and a further 61 in the second half for a huge 109-0 win.
It meant England Multi-Points made up at a massive 2,928 and profits of 1,415 times their original stake for buyers.
However, anyone getting on the wrong side of the spread was well and truly mauled.

The Poker Texas holdem

10 Rules about starting with Texas Hold’Em

1. Don’t play too many hands.

A very common mistake that amateur players make is not being selective enough with their starting hands. Don’t fall into the common trap of thinking that ‘any hand can win’. Although this is true, some hands are more likely to win than others and will help you win more money, whilst others will help you in losing more money. So be selective about which hands you play.

 

2. Don’t bluff too much.

Another common misconception about poker is that you need to bluff to win. You may see spectacular bluffs on the WSOP shows, but these are edited to show the highlights of the tournaments and so give the wrong impression of the frequency that top players bluff. Bluffing in poker is not as essential as you think it is.

If you are a beginner online poker player, it is better to play your cards well rather than trying to bluff your opponents out of hands. It is good to try occasional bluffs here and there, but the real art of knowing when to bluff comes from knowledge and practice.

3. Think about your opponent’s cards.

It is vitally important in poker to think about the strength of your opponent’s hand, and not just your own. It is nice to have a big hand, but if you think that your opponent has a better hand than you, you should prepare to fold. For example a straight is a decent hand, but if there are four cards of the same suit on the board and your opponent pushes all in, do you still think you have the best hand?

 

4. Play against players worse than you.

This may seem obvious, but you will be surprised at the number of players who go against this simple principle. If you are better than the players who you are playing against, it makes sense that you will be a winner in the long run. If you were the 10th best player in the world, it would not be profitable to sit at a table with the top 9 players in the world.

5. Think about your position.

Table position is a very important factor in poker, especially in Texas Holdem. The best positions to be in are when you are last to act on the hand, for example, when you are on the button. This means that you gain knowledge about what kind of hand they may have before the action gets to you. Having good position in a hand can easily turn a losing hand into a winning one.

Position plays a much bigger role in no limit Texas Hold’em than you think. It can often be more important than the cards themselves, and make the difference between winning and losing a hand.

6. Pay attention to the game.

The best way to pick up tells is to watch your opponents and how they play in each pot. Even when you are not in the hand, you should still concentrate on the game to understand how your opponents play.

Hopefully you will see what moves the players make when they don’t have the best hand, and what moves they make when they do have the best hand. The more information you can get from your opponents, the better the opportunity you will have to beat them.

7. Don’t jump in at the high limits.

There are two reasons why you shouldn’t play for too much money as a beginner. Firstly, the players at the higher limits will be better than the players at the lower limits. There is less chance that you will be able to beat them and you will spend a lot of money trying to learn the game in the process.

Secondly, you only want to play at limits you can afford. You should not play at limits where you are going to drop money that you cannot afford to lose. The

Without bankroll management, you will never be able to become a winning player, even if you use perfect strategy.

8. Don’t pay too much for draws.

You will often find yourself holding half a hand that only needs one card to complete your flush or your straight. As a general rule, if you opponent is betting heavily, it is unlikely to be profitable to chase after these draws. However, if there is only a small amount of betting it may be wise to call in the hope of making your hand. If the amount your opponent bets seems too big to warrant a call to make your hand, then don’t.

9. Suited cards aren’t that great.

The ultimate beginner mistake (that even some intermediate players make) is over-valuing suited cards. Flushes are not as common as you think, and if you limp in with your two small suited cards, there is the chance that you will lose all your money to a higher flush if the flush does come.

Just because your cards are of the same suit, it only improves that hand by 2% compared to if your hand was not suited. This marginal improvement is too small to warrant calling pre-flop raises, so learn to fold the small suited cards. You will be saving yourself some money in the long run.

10. Know the rules.

As obvious as it seems, there is no substitute for knowing the rules of the game. You don’t want to find yourself calling a player all in, thinking that your straight beats his flush and losing all of your chips. There is no way you can be a winning poker player if you don’t know the fundamental rules of the game.

Furthermore, each card room and casino may have its own unique set of rules that you must abide by, so make sure you familiarize yourself with them before jumping into any game.

 

The Poker Cards

Texas Hold’em Basics

1. Stick to playing good cards.

As much as you might like to think that being a good poker player is playing any two cards and making money with them, it really isn’t. If you are playing bad cards, you are playing bad cards… there is no two ways about it, no matter how many fancy plays you think you know.

Strong Cards

As a potential winning poker player, you need to come to terms with the fact that you have to throw away the majority of the hands you are dealt. The ability to play the good cards and throw away the bad ones is the foundation of every winning poker player. You might see pro players on TV playing useless hands, but these shows do not truly reflect how these pros play normally (if they want to win money), so don’t get sidetracked.

 

2. Always think about your position.

Your position at the table can have a huge influence of the outcome of a hand. You will really be amazed at how much power you have when you are acting after your opponents rather than before. The longer you play poker, the more you will start to realize how almost every play you make will be influenced by your position at the table.

You see that white dealer button on the table? Make sure you get used to keeping track of it, because playing in position (when you are acting after your opponents) more often than you play out of position will have a dramatic effect on the number of pots that you drag home.

Hands in Texas Hold’em can be won on position alone. Honestly, position is awesome.

3.Don’t get addicted to bluffing.

Yes, bluffing can win you a few extra pots, but it is not the heart of winning poker strategy. First of all you need to work out how to play a hand properly, and then you can start thinking about adding extra elements to your game like the bluff. The chances are that if you are a new player, you are bluffing far too often and losing money because of it.

It is an awesome feeling to pull off a successful bluff, but as you start out learning the game and trying to make money from it, the bluff is something that is best set to the side for the time being. If a prime opportunity to bluff jumps right out at you, then by all means do what you need to take the pot. But in general, the bluff is something that should be used sparingly and only in the right situations when you are confident that it is going to work.

It’s better to save your money and check, rather than lose a lot by attempting to bluff. Read up on the bluffing tips article to help you pick the right spots.

4. Learn a little bit of the maths.

No, please, don’t run. The math in poker isn’t that hard at all. Okay, it might take 5 or 10 minutes to get your head around some of it, but it is incredibly handy and will help you to make the most profitable decisions possible at every opportunity and earn you a lot of money. Now that’s enough to get anyone wanting to learn some math!

5. Think about everything that is taking place at the poker table.

A thinking poker player is a winning poker player. The problem with poker is that if you win, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you made the right play. Similarly, if you lose, it does not mean that you made the wrong play. This can make it tricky to figure out what is wrong and right when it comes to playing a good poker game, but only if you let it.

Whenever you make a decision, think about why you are doing what you are doing and what you expect to accomplish by doing this. Similarly, think about why your opponents are making the moves they make and why they could be making them. This is a great way to develop your mind and help to start seeing poker from all the angles, which is key to developing a winning poker game.