In the course of my long career as a professional gambler, specialising in football betting, I have watched a lot of football matches and, of course, also experienced a lot of preliminary reports or post-match analyses, summaries. This is not limited to German television. I have also watched and listened to English programmes permanently via my Sky Box, but also Italian, Spanish or French programmes many times. It is almost a logical consequence that one develops many ideas for improvement during the comparison, but also through one’s own observations, even through the special qualification of professional betting.
The special perspective that one has to adopt as a professional gambler is specified by one word in particular. This is: objectivity. Now, every reporter will certainly see himself equipped with this quality and will even react indignantly if he is found lacking. However, I would like to emphasise here that my kind of objectivity and the associated assessment of the “correct distribution of chances” has a direct financial impact. The rapporteur can still be “indifferent” to this extent. If, for example, he calls a victory “deserved” in the post-match analysis, then he need not fear financial consequences. He has counted the goals, knows which team scored more and makes this claim. If I wanted to oppose this and say: “Look, please, you can only use the word ‘deserved’ because you carefully counted the goals. I, on the other hand, saw more possession, more corners and also more scoring chances for the losing team. So in that sense, for me, it’s not deserved, it’s lucky.” He replied: “It has nothing to do with luck if you don’t take your chances. It’s a chronic weakness in finishing. The opponents were simply cleverer and have the top player up front. They don’t score from any of their chances, and the others don’t score from five. So the victory is deserved.
For me, this is only fatal in the sense that I could draw conclusions from it for next week. If a victory is to be sold to me as “deserved” and I should base my assessments for the next week on that, then at some point the numbers, the assessments are no longer correct. With reference to the reporter’s analysis, I would give a team an unduly high rating and perhaps lose my money at some point as a result.
So the obligation to be objective does not only apply to a single game and its outcome, even in hindsight, but in the long term, in order to get the best possible distribution of chances. That is the basis of life for the professional player.
Therefore, I have a few suggestions on how to prepare and follow up a Bundesliga matchday from the point of view of the betting market and also the professional gambler in dealing with it.
1) Suggestion 1: The preview.
The first suggestion would be to make a programme that offers a preview of the upcoming Bundesliga match day from the point of view of the betting market. An analysis made by me would discuss both the basic assessments and possibly my “picks”, my betting suggestions, which would of course be given in connection with odds.
“The betting market”, however, is still a somewhat lifeless word to begin with. There are very many offers on the market, all of which could be up for investigation, analysis. Of course, there is always an assessment of who will become German champion or such questions (of course there is: on the betting market there are odds that reflect the chances of the individual teams). You wouldn’t have to do it every week, but when it comes to an exciting situation, it could certainly be interesting. Like at the end of the 2008/2009 season, where “the cards were reshuffled” virtually every matchday. That’s a highly exciting question, as I can personally see in daily conversations. And what’s more, my computer itself calculates a distribution of chances, even for such a question, playfully and at lightning speed. This could be compared with the betting market, i.e. betting suggestions could be “tickled out” there as well.
Of course, there are many different offers for each game. There is the traditional 1-X-2 market. On this market, there are also mobile, but differing odds, from provider to provider. So you could have a few bookmakers, providers constantly in view, in the selection and follow their basic assessments and also the movements. That, too, would certainly be highly exciting for most viewers. I also hear this from daily conversations. Most are interested, but they are afraid of incompetence and stupidity (“What, you’re betting? You’ll ruin yourself.”). So education is urgently needed there. Ratings are guaranteed.
Besides the traditional providers, there is also the Asian market and the betting exchanges. These two have almost the main influence on the market. The big money is wagered there. The market also reacts the fastest. Both would first have to be explained in terms of the betting principle, but then one could examine them week by week, also in terms of development.
I examine one by one: the Asian market acts with the so-called Asian handicap. The idea of this handicap is to make every game, every odds offer, a balanced game, a balanced bet. The chances should be as equal as possible for both sides offered by the given handicap. As a consequence, both sides should be equally attractive for the player, so that the same amount of bets are placed (for details see my chapter “The Betting Market”). This makes it much easier for the provider to earn money. The sides are played about the same amount, the provider has calculated an advantage (in this case even a tiny one), the advantage is realised, the provider achieves what he is entitled to: he wins in the long run (conversely, for the individual player it does not have to be true that he loses in the long run).
All kinds of things are also traded on the betting exchanges (details about this in the same chapter). The special feature here: You bet 1 against 1 against another (anonymous) bettor. The bet is “brokered”, so to speak, and the organiser takes a percentage of the winner. The business principle is clear. Whoever participates in this does not have a “guaranteed loss” at all. You have to be good to win. And you can also participate there with exactly the amounts you want. You can make your own offers or accept offers from other players.
In terms of odds, we have now examined the 1-X-2 odds, the long-term odds and the somewhat more complicated Asian betting offers in general. But there are also the so-called “over/under” bets. Here, bets are placed on the number of goals. And you can position yourself there. So you can bet on one game over and the other game under. It is also a very much betting market. Only in my humble estimation, it is also the one where it is still most worthwhile to play. But I would like to explain that elsewhere. One would of course include that in a preview.
So now we have a television programme with a completely new concept. You do a preview of every single Bundesliga matchday. Before the season as a whole, it would also be interesting to see what the chances are of winning the championship or being relegated, for example. From the experts and on the betting market.
2) Proposal 2: The follow-up
Of course, one would have to do a post-match analysis on Monday after all the matches have been played. You might have made a few suggestions yourself on Friday, you can look through them, evaluate them. But it would also be very interesting to see how the betting market has fared with one’s own assessments. In other words, there would even be analyses and evaluations based on numerical examples, as well as examinations of market movements in retrospect. If the principle becomes established, then there would definitely be a huge influx of viewers here as well. In my opinion, the analysis of the individual games should not be neglected. It could even be used to prepare the proposals for Friday.
I imagine it like this, for example: Stuttgart loses a match. The rapporteur judges the defeat as deserved, as usual. I question the verdict, thus indirectly (or even directly) making the suggestion that Stuttgart play the next Saturday. Because the betting market could be misled here by the (wrong) result of the match and the odds on Stuttgart could be too high.
3) Ideas for realisation
It will of course be a studio production. I would of course have to be the permanent guest as an “expert”. There would have to be a moderator to lead the talks. I see myself quite capable of the role, but it would certainly require some experimentation. The invited experts (initially one per programme would suffice) could of course also give their assessment. So if I imagine an Ottmar Hitzfeld, Stefan Effenberg or, more modestly, a Jörg Berger, who then has to say more or less with a gun to his chest whether he thinks Dortmund or Werder is the better team this season, that could provide exciting insights. The fact that you could then even make smaller or even theoretical bets with the audience or even among yourselves and follow their development over the entire season is an additional aspect. But uniqueness is guaranteed for the time being.
One could even place tips in the audience during the preview broadcast and choose winners in the post-show or something similar. Long-term bets could also be very exciting, even if bets are placed on assessments in the course of the season.
I remember Felix Magath, who wanted to bet on Bayern a few match days before the end. Surely something like that would be of interest in the programme. The assessment by odds and also a — be it virtual – bet.