The 2018 FIFA World Cup is over, and France took the big-ass trophy home with them. But how did my personal, get-rich-quick scheme turn out?

My month long career as a betting man did not start well. I’d planned to use Betfair as my online bookie. That way, I could take advantage of some of their bonus offers for new players. But I couldn’t for the life of me manage to transfer any money to the service. Every time I tried to make a deposit from Neteller, I got a absolutely worthless error message. “Transaction failed”. But, why, Betfair? Why!? Since I had an account with Unibet that I used during the European championship in 2016, I tried to transfer money from Neteller to Unibet as well. But Unibet gave me a similar meaningless error message.

In the end, it turned out the problem was between the chair and the keyboard. When Betfair and Unibet was asking me for a Neteller authentication code, I entered the code Neteller generated when I registered my account with the site. But that was not the code Betfair and Unibet were looking for. Instead, the correct code was the Neteller two-factor authentication code. Unfortunately, I figured that out when trying to deposit money to Unibet, which meant that my entire betting NOK 1000 fund suddenly found itself on Unibet. Not a complete disaster, but I missed all the Betfair bonus offers.

Bonus Bonanza

One of the offers I missed out on would have given me four free €5 bets if I’d placed a €20 bet on the world cup winner. That’s in effect a free bet, which was a bit annoying to miss out on. I’d planned to place a bet on Germany as the world cup winner to activate bonus, but as we now know, that would have been a losing bet anyway. Even if UBS was absolutely sure that Germany would win.

Unibet actually had a couple of nice bonus offers, even for existing players. Or at least so I thought. I accidentally (as in “didn’t read the fine print”) activated an idiotic virtual casino football card game bonus. I had to play for NOK 100 on the card game to get a NOK 100 risk-free sports bet. Per Unibet’s policy, a player can only have one bonus activated at any time. To make sure I didn’t miss any bonuses that might actually be relevant for me, I had to play the ridiculous card game. I lost NOK 10 digging me out of that bonus pit, but I did get that risk-free sports bet when I got out. I placed it on the June 15 Peru v Denmark match; 3-way handicap, Peru starts with 1-0, match ends with a draw. The odds were a sweet 3.95, and I actually one the bet, so my little bonus mishap turned out all right in the end.

Not me during the World Cup. Photo by Jan Vasek/JESHOOTS.

In Soviet Russia, the Host Wins

My very first bet went well, too, but that’s no big surprise. I placed it on the opening match between host nation Russia and poor, poor Saudi-Arabia. The Saudis were crushed 5 to absolutely nothing in a match I didn’t see myself1, but I heard was an utter travesty.

From there on followed quite a few bets, some wins and some losses. I placed bets on pretty much every match day, except for a weekend I was travelling. And a couple of days I simply forgot.

During the World Cup month, I somehow managed to stay in the black. Due to some miracle, my Unibet balance never dropped below the NOK 1000 I deposited in the middle of June.

On the day of the final between France and Kroatia, I had NOK 1333 on my Unibet account. I placed everything on Kroatia brining it home at the sound of the full time whistle. With a 4.5 odds, that bet had quite the potential.

The Fear of Losing

But I lost the bet, and my precious NOK 1333. Good money that could have been used for other things. Damn annoying, to be honest.

When placing bets on matches the second day of the World Cup, I remembered why I rambled on about not betting in 2018 when I finished by 2016 European championship betting spree.

Rather than getting exited about the possible profit, I worried about losing my money. Where’s the fun in that? Why should I want to do something that make me worried? That’s just plain stupid.

So future Vegard, take note: There’s a European championship coming up in 2020. You’re note gonna place any bets on that!

Footnotes

  1. I haven’t actually watched any of the matches during the World Cup.