The Final Bet.

On Sunday evening, Portugal beat France to take home the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship title. I didn’t watch the match, but from the headlines I’ve read, it was a match that led to more yawns than celebrations of football as splendid entertainment. After the match, French football “fans” did their best to burn down Paris, and Philippe Wojazer shot the awesome picture I’ve shamelessly used without permission above.

But this entry is not about riots, football or the poo-lice throwing tear gas canisters, it’s about my bi-yearly betting spree. How did I fare this year? Well, according to my Bettin.gs profile I didn’t have much luck. After I revealed my bullet proof way to get rich quickTM three weeks ago, I lost 11 bets and only won 4. Now that the championship is over, I’m looking at a loss of NOK 189 (~$22).

But that number isn’t entirely correct. Thanks to Unibet‘s bonus trickery, and their many attempts to lure their players into spending more money than they have, I’m actually NOK 15 ($2) in the black! That won’t buy me anything anywhere, but I’m still in the black. But what to do with the money? I can’t just let the NOK 515 (~$60) stay untouched in my Unibet account, and transferring them back into my bank account would probably cost me the entire profit in transfer fees.

Since the European championship is over, I’m not placing any more bets this year. But there are other options on Unibet for people who want to part ways with their hard earned cash, and one of the most effective ones is probably the roulette table. One of the items on my infamous list of 100 things to do before I croak is item number 49: Try my luck at the roulette table. I went to Las Vegas in 2012, but since I’m a risk averse pussy, I never sat down at one of the many, many tables in the city.

But now is the time to strike item number 49 off the list! Should I put everything on red? Or black? Oh, man, the pressure!

Continue reading "The Final Bet."

What’s the Chance of That?

We’re nine days into the UEFA Euro 2016 Championship, and it’s time for a short betting retrospective. According to my bettin.gs profile, I’m currently looking at a 68 NOK (~$8) profit. While it isn’t an impressive amount – it’ll buy me a beer at a half-posh restaurant in downtown Oslo – it’s still a profit. It’s also a 5.54% return of investment, which is a hell of a lot more than you get with the money in the bank.

This year’s betting adventure didn’t start out too well, with three quick losses in a row. The money I put on the first bet – Romania to beat France in the opening match – was refunded, though, courtesy Unibet, and their “one bet without risk”-campaign. Then I had a win on low-paying odds, and another loss because Portugal’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo can’t hit a barn door from a distance of 11 meters. But he is pretty good at participating in taking selfies on the field.

Including the last loss, I’d placed bets based partly on the odds, partly on my female intuition, and partly on gut feeling. Then I realized that my female intuition and gut feeling didn’t matter. I know absolutely nothing about football. Placing bets on high-paying, thus low possibility and risky odds, was plain stupid as long as I didn’t have any knowledge about the teams, players, referees, the pitch, and the weather to know something that would make it more possible than the odds indicated that I’d win a particular bet. Besides, the people deciding the odds know everything there is to know about what can influence the chance of a win or a loss – that is, after all, how they make their living.

So the question wasn’t whether or not I thought I’d win a bet, the question was what kind of risk I was willing to take.

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Me, the Hazard Player.

We’re only days away from the UEFA Euro 2016 championship in France, and unless the country is washed away, paralyzed by strikes, or once again attacked by terrorists some time next week, the host nation will meet Romania in the first Euro 2016 match this coming Friday, June 10. Then it’s a full month of proper football-o-rama before the champions are finally crowned on July 10.

Me, I don’t care much for football, but whenever there is a major championship being played – either the World Cup or the Euro cup – I blow the dust of my old bet365 account, and resuscitate the hazard player in me. Given that this only happens every 2nd year, the little sucker never remembers how bad it felt to lose all his bets two years ago, which means he’ll gladly deposit and waste another $50 of my hard earned money this year as well. bet365 won’t be at the receiving end of those fifty bucks in 2016, though. They still rely on Adobe Flash to run their site, and since I uninstalled Flash a long time ago – and generally laugh at sites that still use Flash for anything at all – I’ll have to look for another betting site.

In addition to being Flash-free, it also has to support HTTPS. We are, after all, talking about a site that handles financial transactions, and if your betting site doesn’t support HTTPS, you’re a dumbass and both you and your site should be banned from the internet. My new favorite money-waster also has to work well on mobile and have a user interface that doesn’t confuse me so much I place wrong bets or get a permanent headache.

Thankfully, there isn’t a lack of sites on the internet that wants my money. No big surprise there, really. After about 30 minutes of poking around, I settled on Unibet. They support HTTPS, has an Android app that doesn’t suck too bad, and there’s no Flash anywhere. The Unibet site does, however, load JavaScript from a gazillion different sources, but that seems to be what most gambling sites do.

I plan to register all my bets on Bettin.gs, which means you can follow my (hopefully slow) adventure towards bankruptcy via my profile.

Bankruptcy by Betting.

There are now only three matches left in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. In June, just before the start of the World Cup, I transferred 50 USD to bet365 to try my luck on a few bets on the matches and other sports I might find interesting.

It all started very well, and at one point I had a whooping 150 USD in profit. My main sources of income were Formula 1 and horse racing – for some weird reason – and I was the King of Gambling. But everything changed a fateful Sunday, when I decided not to place a Formula 1 bet. The bet, with a massive 41 times return on the stake, was if Sergio Perez would finish 6th or better in Austria. I had selected the bet, set my tiny 5 USD stake, and the mouse cursor was hovering over the “place bet” button. I had looked at the Perez’ stats for the season, his practice times, the form of the team and both the cars so far that weekend and was pretty sure he should be able to manage at least 6th.

But I decided against placing the bet. My decision was based on the fact that I’d lost a few dollars earlier the same day and that I’d already placed another bet on the Formula 1 race. Even though all the bets I place is totally independent of each other – that you win or lose a bet doesn’t increase or decrease the chance of winning or losing a later bet – my stupid brain told me otherwise.

And of course Sergio Perez managed to finish 6th, which had given me a totally sweet 200 USD profit on the 5 USD bet I almost placed. All I had to do was to click a button, but I decided against it. Winning the bet could have been the start of becoming a Billionaire by Betting, but no. It was the start of the completely opposite. From there on it’s been a continuous downhill journey. I’ve had a loss every single day, with the definite low being a half time bet I managed to lose 5 seconds after I placed it. I shit you not. Five. Seconds.

I’m now spending the bonus money bet365 gave me for signing up to their site. That way, I’m sort of still in the black, and not yet spending my original 50 USD “investment”. But I’m not looking at a 150 USD profit, like I had the last time I went on a betting spree, which was during the UEFA Euro 2012. Losing that Sergio Perez bet still bloody annoys me, to be honest. If I had just placed that damned bet, everything would have been different. I know that’s not true, but it’s still a thought that rings in my head. And that attitude seems to be a bit of a problem for me.

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Placing Those Bets.

After posting yesterday’s entry, I placed two bets: One fairly safe one on the Brazil v Croatia FIFA 2014 World Cup match on Thursday (5 USD on Brazil to win, 1.28) and a very risky one on yesterday’s Formula 1 race: 5 USD on Felipe Massa having the fastest lap. The odds? 17. Miraculously, Massa managed to set the fastest lap of the race, giving me a sweet return. This was partly because of luck; he pitted for a new set of tires towards the end of the race and had a lot of clean air in front of him when he left the pits, and partly because of the Williams team’s good form this weekend. The race in Canada was amazingly action packed and entertaining, unfortunately for Massa, he touched with another car on the final lap of the grand prix and totaled his car.

But even though I had a lucky bet yesterday, placing that bet was far from easy. The first natural step is to transfer money to the bookie. And you’d think it would as easy as transferring the funds from a Visa or MasterCard credit or debit card. But then again no. According to Norwegian law, betting and other gambling is not allowed – unless it’s done through the state owned gambling company, Norsk Tipping (Wikipedia article). The rationale behind this is that if the gambling is controlled by the state, people won’t get addicted.

All righty then.

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