n the early years when I did my real betting, I worked as follows: The weekend always went like this, that I placed the bets at some point, usually by Friday noon. Then at the weekend I waited for the results, quite anxiously if you like. These were then recorded and all the settlements made. My software grew and grew. In the meantime, my computer did it all automatically. It could settle all system bets correctly, I had automated account management, so stakes and payouts were deducted and credited to the account. So after entering the results and settling the bets, I had the new, current account balance with each bookmaker.
On Mondays, I then gradually called all the bookmakers I had bet with and the account balance was reconciled. That simply had to be done. And sure, sometimes there were differences, sometimes to my advantage, sometimes to my disadvantage. But usually the mistake could be found quite quickly.
But one Monday, in 1992, I called Admiral Sportwetten. A very friendly lady was on the phone. I asked for my account balance. I tried to hide the surprise I felt at the amount I heard as cleverly as I could. The account balance was 6000 DM too high! According to my calculations, I had won about DM 2000, so according to Admiral’s calculations, I had won DM 8000. I briefly asked for clarification as to how the amount had come about. The lady reconstructed my bet, so she read me the recorded bet. Then at some point she read out “Austria had you on win”.
At that moment I guessed what had happened, because I knew the results from memory: Austria may have always been the Vienna Austria in Austria, so when I recorded the bet, when I said the name “Austria”, the person had automatically understood and entered “Austria Wien”. But I had meant “Austria Salzburg” and probably also announced it. Austria Wien had won, Austria Salzburg had lost.
But should I complain now? I only felt remorse for a relatively short time. I thought about what would have happened if my team had won and Austria Vienna hadn’t? Then my account balance would also have caused a shock, but a negative one. I wondered if I would have realised when listening to the tape recording that I had indeed expressed myself wrongly or in a misleading way.
After all, that could have happened in this case. Imagine: I complain about the account balance. I say: “No, it can’t be that much. There’s been a mistake.” The lady asks me to call back in an hour, she would find the tape and play it for me. That’s how it would be. And after an hour, she goes to all the trouble, we realise that I had indeed made the “mistake” and had accidentally, but clearly audibly, played the Wiener Austria.
I would only have given them a lot of work, only to find out afterwards that they had worked absolutely flawlessly and that I had rightly had 6,000 DM more in my account. That automatically calms my conscience.