A Bad Start

The 2012 NRL season has begun, three rounds are completed, and the signs aren’t good. No, perhaps that’s only partially true. Footballistically[1] it has been a very positive start indeed, for some of us: the half-wild, half-Mills & Boon heart-throb mane of Des Hasler is currently presiding over a Bulldogs team which is doing everything right and not a lot wrong, and although it’s early days the signs are good, but we’re taking it one day at a time and trying to fly under the radar, and all of that nonsense. Yes, there is plenty to be pleased about for those of us who wear blue and white stripey scarves when the mornings grow chilly. But from a gambling point of view it has been desolate … and gambling’s half the fun.

The Biff Fanciers have outlaid their wager – $30 seemed a good amount in the past, so we stuck with that – each round and we haven’t made a profit once. Only the Joker has collected anything, and that was from his ‘risky’ bet in round two – the safer of his bets having proved to not be safe at all, in fact having proved to be wrong. The Joker[2] often plays with the risky/safe approach in an attempt to use the percentages, and at least make back our stake, with a sensible bet for a small return, while at the same time risking a smaller amount of money for a greater return in the hope of a profit. At least he minimised our losses for his weekend. The other two weeks have been very bleak.

Round one seemed to spook Julian[3] (not his real name), who thought it was all too hard, and he turned out to be right. He took a very conservative approach and put a bet on each of the teams to win the opening game, both by a small margin. He thought it would be a close result. It was. The margin was so small there was no margin: it was a draw and the money was lost.

In week three, Slick – hero of the first try in an Origin game, first try to be scored in the second half of a match in the rain, and sundry other ballsy bets – miscalculated on a winning margin, which he usually has a knack for, and thought Manly would beat the Sharks by a lot, which they should have, but they didn’t, and Slick was left sitting at the table with his poker face on and no chips in front of him. He’ll get another turn in a few weeks.

Next up it’s The Big Man, the author of an inspired series of wagers on all four fullbacks to score tries in last year’s City-Country and Anzac Test Friday footy extravaganza (three of four saluted for him), and after that will come Brains, who is mostly above the intellectual level the rest of us are at with this punters club thing, and if left to his own devices would be working out trends and mathematical probabilities, and generally keeping the state of the accounts, as Julian sometimes calls them, in much better, more coherent order than Julian ever could. The Biff Fanciers would always know how much was in the kitty if Brains was keeping an eye on it.

After Brains it will be The Secret Agent’s turn. The Secret Agent drifts in and out of the affairs of the Biff Fanciers, and while there have been sightings it is not yet clear that he will indeed be an active participant this season. It should be fine though. He always turns up at the last minute, and his ability to ignore tipping orthodoxy is welcome, for he looks at the prices offered for the teams in a contest and can pick a skewed market like no-one I’ve encountered. He sees value immediately. It’s a very useful asset.

Lastly there’s Number Seven. Number Seven is our non-betting member. He participates in the debate, such as it is – name calling and general puerility would be more accurate – and uses the club’s email thread to announce the birth of children and other momentous life events. I saw Number Seven for the first time in ages last year, and it was only then that I realised just how much I’d missed him.

The season will pick up. All we need is a win and we’ll be away. And besides, the club is about a hell of a lot more than profit anyway.

[1] A word thought to be invented by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, however a Spanish version of it, “futbolisticamente”, has existed since the 1960s: http://www.englishforums.com/English/Footballistically/whhmr/post.htm

[2] Club members do not actually use gambling names, more’s the pity. It might be fun if we did. It might also indicate that some people have too much time on their hands and have never quite grown out their James Bond phase.

[3] Looks a bit like Julian Assange, especially when in need of a haircut.


Published in: on March 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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