Much has happened since my last post and this is turning into one of the best international tournaments I have been old enough to appreciate (which isn't really that many in fairness as I am only 20). Nevertheless, we have seen some shocks and surprises, as well as fantastic individual and team performances. Group A, which looked the most boring on paper has oozed entertainment so far, I just wish it never had to end. I was anticipating one shock from one of the big teams, as there normally tends to be, but I didn't really think it would come from Holland. I highlighted Denmark as a good side in my preview however, yet I didn't think that they would actually beat the Dutch! Holland have failed to perform though, with the exception of Sneijder who I think has been exemplary throughout, and look to be plummeting out of the competition. I was tempted to back them after their defeat to the Danes, as their odds rocketed sky high, leaving me with a slight suspicion that the market had slightly overreacted. I thought better of it though after seeing that their next game was Germany, and I am thankful that I did so because the Germans were superb as always.
From a betting point of view I sometimes feel that is a shame to bet on games, and after I have placed a bet I wish I had just let myself enjoy the spectacle in peace. This was a particular thought of mine when watching the France/England match, as I knew that I had my bet on France to win outright, as well as France to top the group with England second. As it happens a draw was a decent result for me, and I DID cheer when England scored so don't worry, I'm not that much of a traitor... not for £20 anyway. Generally speaking however my betting has been good and I look to be in profit thus far. It is a bit tough to tell at the moment with so many different bets on, and I will update the P+L properly and the end of the tournament, but I do know that I am in profit so far, and hopefully can continue this. I have, by and large, refrained from getting carried away in the vast amount of markets offered throughout the tournament as I did during the World Cup, but any time I have been tempted I have been able to win my money back in-play. In a rush of blood to the head I backed Ibrahim Afellay to be in the top 4 goalscorers at 18 after I found out he was starting the first match. I hoped he would score and I could lay it off but it wasn't too be and it was only £4 lost. I have won around £13 trading in-play since my last update, and I am yet to record a red amount thanks to being very careful with what I bet on, and only betting if I really see an opportunity. The collapse of Holland meant that they slipped to odds of 16 after their loss against Denmark, and I thankfully chose to take a loss of £8 on all outcomes in my £15 outright bet on them. It was tempting to leave the bet on, or even back them further, but I am glad I made the right choice in the end. The France bet is still ongoing as there has been no significant movements either way after their draw, but I am now doubting their prospects after watching Italy, who will be tough opponents in the quarter final if they are to progress. Talking of Italy, I was perplexed to see them priced at 4.3 to win the group after their very impressive draw with Spain. If both teams win their last two games, as would be expected, then the group will come down to goal difference only, and Spain have been playing with no striker... odd I thought. Saying that though, I thought the Italians looked brilliant but there is something about them and their corrupt nature which makes me not trust them.
In other bets, my group to score least goals bet was boosted tonight after 8 goals in Group B, who had previously only scored 2. As I predicted, Ronaldo has been woeful yet again for Portugal and has scored no goals, giving my Benzema to be top Madrid scorer bet hope, though he is goalless after one game, and Pepe scored today and is outrageously leading the charts. Laying Denmark to be bottom of their group work wonders and I greened up after their victory over the Dutch for £10 on all outcomes. Van Persie has been another who has been disappointing, but he was able to bag himself a goal tonight meaning that a Ladbrokes free bet should be on its way to my account, though that does only mean I break even so far for this offer. Lastly, the Bet365 offer I alluded to in the last post worked wonders again, and it was so simple to take £35 off of them, I just wish they did the offer every week.
A final sobering thought for today was the blog which I stumbled upon earlier this week, written by a gambling addict who is trying to get his life back on track. I admire the blogger (named Paddy) for trying to tackle his addiction, but at the same time it is scary to think that some for some people gambling goes too far. I will follow the blog with interest and I really really hope that he is able to resist his temptations, as it sounds as if he has lost most of what is important in his life already, and I hope it doesn't lead him to get in any deeper. I think the blog will really help him as it will allow him to express everything he can't express in real life through the window of anonymity, so I hope he keeps it up. Good luck to him. http://betfair2ga.blogspot.co.uk/