Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Looking for a New Game? Try Gambling on Mooncakes

Mooncake gambling odds-on festival favourite

If you ever have the urge to find a new gambling game to take your mind off the current crop of political conferences, you should look no further than the home of obscure gambling games - China

This month, the Chinese play a game of "Bo Bing" - a game of 6 dice in which the winner wins - and comes free with a packet of mooncakes.

Dating back 300 years, the game seems relatively simple - you need 6 dice and a bowl. Throw the dice into the bowl and the different 'pips' you get stand for different prizes you can win. However, these awards have 6 ranks and there are 63 difference sized mooncakes as prizes - from the lowest rank, Xiucai - to the highest rank, Zhuangyaun

As with other Chinese gambling games, the number 'four' is important - basically, if you get 4 or more dice with 4 pips, you win 'zhuangyuan'

So put aside poker this month - and pick up some mooncakes and dice for a slightly more asian slant to your gambling

More Links:

Monday, September 27, 2004

The Rise and Rise of Football Betting

Addicts may seek bigger fix

An excellent but cautionary tale of the ever-increasing popularity of football betting by ex-Millwall and Chelsea player, Tony Cascarino

In the Times Online, Cascarino writes that betting on football could be up at least 250% in the UK - perhaps 1000% globally - spurred on by its fascination by Asian big-hitters.

Bets of £100,000 - £1 million are not uncommon anymore as football has taken over from horses as the sport to bet on.

Why? As Cascarino correctly points out - simply because on football, there are only 3 results - home win, away win (ie Lose) or draw. None of those 16 horse handicaps, no chance of jockeys pulling up before the line, no possilbility of the horse going lame to spoil the bet.

Whilst Cascarino falls into the current media hyperbole of calling us a 'nation of gamblers' - we're not that bad yet. But the concept of just having a fiver on your favourite team down the pub has grown up considerably with the advent of easier access to betting and of course, better bragging rights if you win

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Big Guns Come a-Blazing to Build Britain's New Vegas

Even before the new gaming bill comes into play, overseas casino giants are already making plans to come to these shores and build their casinos.

Last week, Malaysian gaming giant, Genting, bought the exclusive Maxim's Casino in London from Gala Casinos, adding to its current 15% stake in London Clubs International (LCI). This increases their share in the UK market to 13 from 9.

However, until the bill to deregulate the industry goes through, the analysts aren't jumping up and down yet.

This also applies to Aussie gaming mogul, Kerry Packer - Australian's richest man - as he has just announced a £300 million assault on the UK casino market. Packer is planning 5 casinos in the UK under the brand name 'Aspers' as he joins forces with Damian Aspinall.

These ventures are the latest in a long line of casino giants that have already staked their claims to the potential millions that may come with gaming deregulation. US companies Harrahs and MGM Mirage and the South African, Kerzer International have been sniffing around the UK for a while now, buying potential property and land and forming joint ventures with UK operators.

It appears everyone is thinking the UK is in line to be one big Vegas strip. However, until this gambling bill finally goes through, I'd hang on to my pennies...

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Cricket ICC trophy final - Latest Odds

The ICC trophy cup has been a rather subdued affair despite a great performance by the England team in thrashing the Aussies and reaching the final fairly easily.

William Hill has made England favourites to beat the West Indies - who beat Pakistan in the semi's - in Saturday's final

England 4/7
West Indies 5/4

Bet now with William Hill

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Could Poker Bots be a Chink in Online Pokers Armour?

Are poker ‘bots’ raking online pots?

MSNBC reports on the apparant infiltration of poker bots in the $1bn online poker industry.

Essentially, a 'poker bot' is a computer program that happily sits next to human players at the virtual table. They have the ability to literally 'fleece' the amateur, newcomer, strategically inept - and even possibly the above-average player.

But whilst the existence of these bots is grudgingly believed by the pros, the size of the problem is unknown.

Furthermore, the report continues, the sheer complexity of poker is causing many a skeptic not to worry greatly about these bots. With poker - you need a bot that can 'think' and 'play' - unlike the optimal strategy of blackjack or the mathematics of chess.

And of course - a multi-layered bot is currently being built with the artificial intelligence required to sit above just basic calculation

You can read more about specific poker bots currently in development, their human counterparts and the response from the online poker industry at MSNBC

- There has been rumours and allegations about 'bots' since the online poker industry began. Originally, it was alleged the online poker operator itself were using bots to fill the rooms. Now, as technology gets cleverer and the lure of huge prize money get bigger, its up to those same poker operators to work against them - else the unbreakable boom that is online poker could trip up at its first hurdle - especially for the little guys and new players out there.

Personally, I can see the day poker bots take on poker champions in a real life tournament - a bit like those that already take place in chess. Now that would be an interesting game...

Premiership Players Now Accused of Allegedly Betting on Football

Players linked with illegal bets

In a case of - it had to happen sooner or later - no sooner have we had a huge storm over jockeys betting on losing horses, now there's rumours and allegations being thrown at premiership players placing bets on football - something the FA naturally red cards.

According to the New of the World, up to £3 million has been place with one firm alone.

The report, according the Independent Online claims that the biggest punters include players from Man City, Spurs and Portsmouth.

Now, there's no secret that many footballers have historically been large gamblers, but this story, true or not, stinks of pure PR - strangely, i've never heard of the betting exchange mentioned - i'm sure it exists - but what a way to get free publicity. Cynical? surely not...

Whatever happens though - i'm sure its not the last we're going to hear of it - dare I say a Panorama special on the Beeb?

Sunday, September 19, 2004

When Your Luck's in - it Just Keeps on Coming


From the start of a £200 fruit machine jackpot win, Stephen Synott just couldn't stop winning.

According to the Daily Record, Synott a delivery driver, won more than £200,000 in just 33 hours - from a variety of bets.

The win included:
- £200 fruit machine jackpot
- £150 lottery machine jackpot
- £90 win on the horses
- £200 roulette machine win
- £205 bingo house prize
- £2032 bingo regional prize
- £200,000 bingo national prize

Oh yes, and another £2.40 win on the horses

I want to know what he's eating...and where I can get some

Yet another US Show set in Vegas

CBS' 'dr. vegas' stars Rob Lowe as a casino physician with a gambling problem

Just when you thought it was safe to switch on the TV. With the new US TV season arriving this week, they've unleashed another show set in gambling mecca, Las Vegas.

After the groundbreaking CSI and the truly tedious Las Vegas (how can a show make Vegas so mindnumbingly dull?), US network CBS now unveil 'Dr Vegas' with ex West Wing and 80's teen actor, Rob Lowe - about a er...doctor who works in a Vegas casino. Sounds dreadful? Well rumour has it, it just maybe that. So I'll most likely be missing that one if it heads across to our shores.

More Links:
- Dr Vegas - Official Site
- CSI - Official Site
- Las Vegas - Official Site

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Ryder Cup - Latest Odds

One of the more interesting golfing tournaments begins this weekend as the US take on Europe for a few rounds of golfing hostilities and gamesmanship.

Who said golf couldn't be exciting?

William Hill has the home country as odds on to beat Europe and i'm sure their fans will do everything in their power to get them home and dry

USA v Europe
home 4/7
draw 10/1
away 13/8

For a whole lot more Ryder Cup bets, check out William Hill

More Links:
Official Ryder Cup Website
BBC Ryder Cup Coverage

Shutting down employee p2p gambling at work

The Dangers of Employee Peer to Peer Gambling

The technology party poopers are out in force nowadays trying to shut down that nasty ole p2p gambling that many people like to do during work hours.

Apparantly, one such company, Websense, has the ability to block employee access to betting and gambling sites as well as eliminating the launch of p2p betting platforms.

Websense claim that the platforms can leave companies open to worms, spyware or malicious code. I'd probably be more concerned about lack of productivity - and the ability to er...have fun in the workplace.

It had to happen sooner or later though..Bah Humbug

Making a career of poker

Online poker ace scores £4,500 - per week

A math graduate allegedly makes £4,500 per week playing poker online. Naturally, I'm waiting for the follow up story when said graduate becomes hard up and full of gambling debts as the run of luck runs out. Harsh, perhaps. But good luck to her in the meantime

More links:
Cash course for Lee-Anne

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Roger Federer at the US Open

Sorry about the lack of updates.

I've been in the US and was at the US Open men's final. There's not too much to say about it - except Federer was awesome and made Hewitt look like an amateur. It was embarrassing.
The only thing I have to say about the experience, bar seeing a master at work, was that Americans do not like tennis. It wasn't full. Many people left before the end. And just to rub it in, the speaker had the tenacity over the tannoy to say the US had the best tennis fans in the world. I beg to differ.

I also got to catch a baseball game - it's my 3rd one and i've always given the game the benefit of the doubt. Until now. total tedium. what exactly is the point of watching this game?

Friday, September 10, 2004

Illegal betting? blame your poodle

Bad luck dogs Thai gambler

Here's a story of why you can never trust your best friend.

A Thai women who denied running an illegal betting exchange was caught when police found her pet poodle playing with betting slips in her back garden

I'm looking forward to when they call the poodle to take the stand as witness for the prosecution

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Federer vs Agassi - Latest Odds

The game of the tournament is on tonight as Agassi takes on Roger Federer in the Quarter Finals of the US Open - and it just seems far more exciting than the World Cup Qualifiers and the mess that is the England team

Federer is odds on to win but Agassi loves the US Open and loves the lights

4/11 R Federer V A Agassi 2/1

Henman should, in theory, have a reasonably simple route through playing relative unknown D Hrbaty, but with Henman, you never know

1/2 T Henman V D Hrbaty 6/4

All odds taken from William Hill

And for anyone that cares about the football (OK - i'm gonna watch it but if its as painful as the Austria game..)

Poland v England
home 10/3
draw 11/5
away 8/11

All odds taken from William Hill

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Italian Club Penalized 5 Points for Betting Scandal

Italian club penalized in betting scandal

In the culmination of the high profile football betting scandals in Italy this Summer, Italian second division club, Catanzaro, has received a 5-point deduction before the season even begins.

Three players have been suspended for a minimum of 3 years.

A heavy-handed prosection originally demanded that the Serie C1 championship would be annulled and Catanzaro's promotion to Serie B be revoked - but that didn't happen. Catanzaro's lawyers however were still not happy with the final decision and wanted to be fully acquitted - they plan to appeal

Four non-Catanzaro players were also suspended, but no other teams implicated were penalised

Last month, Serie B's Modena was also penalised 5 points.

Previous Related Blog:
You just can't trust those Italian referees

Related Stories:
- Scandal in Serie A: Betting is biggest football earner in Italy
- Italy's Chievo, Siena escape severe punishment in betting investigation

Monday, September 06, 2004

Mercury Music Prize - Betting Update

Previous Blog:
Mercury Music Prize - latest odds

Since the odds were originally annouced back in July, the Mercury Music Prize has become an interesting betting event - with the excellent Franz Ferdinand overtaking The Streets as overall favourite for the award this tuesday. However, the real surprise has been the quirky "The Zutons" who have been backed in from 12/1 to 3rd favourite at 4/1

All odds taken from Bet 365

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand 5/2
The Streets - A Grand Don't Come for Free 10/3
The Zutons - Who Killed The Zutons 4/1
Amy Winehouse - Frank 8/1
Snow Patrol - Final Straw 9/1
Keane - Hopes and Fears 9/1
Joss Stone - The Soul Sessions 12/1
Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress 14/1
Jamelia - Thank You 16/1
Basement Jaxx - Kish Kash 16/1
Ty - Upwards 20/1
Robert Wyatt - Cuckooland 25/1

Sunday, September 05, 2004

There's a Town in the US where Pinball is considered Gambling

Pinball wizards agree law needs changed

Here's a shock - its another 'only in the US' dumb law story.

There's a county in Nashville, Tn, that currently has a law that states pinball cannot be played by minors (under 18's) since its considered as a form of gambling - yes thats 'pinball' complete with silver balls, a 'tilt' and a wizard called 'Tommy'.

Apparantly, because older machines dispensed coins - they were considered to be like 'slot machines', so back in the 60's, Davidson County decided that kids couldn't go within 10 feet of the dastardly machines

Thankfully, there is light at the end of the tunnel for all those deprived kids and a bill is being sponsored to make the game legal for minors.

As Tyler Davies, from Davidson County, comments:'It's not fair that only adults can play it and kids can't..Because it's a fun game to play.''

Our sympathy is with you..

Davidson County Pinball law

It is unlawful for any person having custody or charge of any pinball machine where the same may be operated to permit any minor under the age of eighteen years to play, operate or use any such machine or to loiter about the same.

More Links:
Pinball News from the UK

Friday, September 03, 2004

Move over Pop Idol - Here Comes the X-Factor

well, now that's Big Brother is over - the next TV event for us to get addicted (I mean, watch) is The X-Factor - also with the genteel Simon Cowell as one of the judges.

And of course, with every new reality show, comes a new round of betting - and Bet 365 happily already provides with ample markets for the new show, even before it starts.

I almost can't wait.

Here's the latest betting from Bet 365:

Winning Act
16 - 25 Solo Artist 7/4
Over 25 Solo Artist 15/8
Band 11/8

Winning Judge
Sharon Osbourne 7/5
Simon Cowell 6/4
Louis Walsh 9/4

Winners Age
16 - 25 8/11
Over 25 1/1

Winners Gender
Male 4/5
Female 10/11

Winners Gender
Mixed 11/8
Female 9/4
Male 8/5

Thursday, September 02, 2004

28,000/1 football accumulator comes in

Pensioner wins 28,000 off 1 bet

Its not often you hear football accumulators come in - especially 15 game ones - but its pretty good when they do - even better when you win £28,000 on a £1 bet.

This guy's luck was definitely in last week - he should have bought a lottery ticket as well

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Cincinnati Kid Voted as All-time Greatest Gambling Movie

Classic Cincinnati Kid holds all the aces

In a poll held by 888.com, The Cincinnati Kid, has been voted the top gambling movie of alltime - ahead of Ocean's Eleven and Casino

The 40yr old classic stars Steve McQueen as a young poker player that tried to prove himself against the long-time cardmaster Edward G Robinson

New British classic, Lock Stock and 2 Smoking Barrels came third, just behind the Scorcese and De Niro classic, Casino

The top 20 were:
1. The Cincinnati Kid (1965)
2. Casino (1995), below
3. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998)
4. Oceans Eleven (2001)
5. The Sting (1973)
6. Maverick (1994)
7. Rounders (1998)
8. Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)
9. Casino Royale (1967)
10. The Gamble (1998)
11. Rain Man (1988)
12. The Hustler (1961)
13. The Color of Money (1986)
14. Lucky Town (2000)
15. Las Vegas (2003)
16. Snake Eyes (1998)
17. Croupier (1998)
18. The Music of Chance (1993)
19. Havana (1990)
20. Face (1997)

Fallon released on bail after arrest for alleged race-fixing

Fallon bailed in fixing probe

Jockey Keiron Fallon has been released on bailed after his surprising arrest today for alleged race-fixing. He was arrested along with fellow jockeys Darren Williams and Fergal Lynch and trainer, Karl Burke.

He was arrested on suspicion of corruption and conspiracy to defraud and centres on an investigation of 80 races over 2years.

These arrests come on the back of a mass of allegations of corruption and race-fixing amidst the broadcast of a report on the BBC's Panorama last October that investigated the racing world over 6 months

Interestingly, today's arrests were made possible due to collaberation with the police and betting exchange giant, Betfair, who provided records of irregular betting activity - Betfair have long been accused of aiding race-fixing since punters can 'bet on the loser'

Once again the racing world is about to be dragged through the mud and scrutiny of the press - because of the greed and idiocy of a few people