Blog: A Lost Weekend and a Darting Disaster

Premier League Darts betting Phil Taylor

I’ve had a somewhat frustrating weekend to say the least. It should have been great but instead it feels like a lost weekend. Betting is a game I’ve played for years and yet it can still make me feel like an absolute chump.

I made some very silly schoolboy errors which cost me badly and I really should know better by now. Let me tell you about it, maybe by berating myself in this blog it will finally drum it into my thick head.

It all started on Saturday afternoon when I was all organised and ready for some punting. It was about 2.15pm and I had an hour until my next race so I popped in my bet on Betfair and got busy doing a few other jobs.

Before I know it, it’s race time! Shit!  I’d got sidetracked big time and had got totally engrossed in another job, and stupidly not even checked my bet on Music Master on Betfair. I’d only put it in at 5.1 (one tick above what was on offer) and the bet hadn’t got matched and they were off and running! Getting sidetracked seems to be a really bad habit of mine.

Now I’m not one for in-running betting, I prefer to take my time methodically placing bets and find the ‘In-Play’ a bit too frantic. I don’t have fast enough pictures anyway. I could see Music Master wasn’t in a great position though and it looked as though it would not get a clear run so in the heat of the moment I decided not to back it in running, thinking I would probably save my stake.
You know the rest, I watched in horror as jockey Fergus Sweeney came with a strong run to lead close home by a neck.

That put me in a mood, I was angry at myself for getting sidetracked like that. How long would it have taken me just to check to make sure my bet had been matched? 2 seconds! But with so many distractions it can happen. I’m sure it’s worked out in my favour on many occasions where the horse has lost but when they win it is very, very annoying. In fact, I think I hate missing winners more than backing losers.

So in my frustrated state I decide I’m going to throw my toys out the pram and take the rest of the day off and have no more bets. My perhaps flawed logic is that if the rest lose then it will compensate for the missed winner and sods law usually means that they will lose if I carry on after missing a nice winner like that. This is why it’s so important to stay on the ball and not end up in these situations. Anyway, I decide I’m not playing anymore.

To compound my frustration the next 2 horses I would’ve backed romped in! (Tiggy Wiggy at 4/1 and Marmoom at 3/1) So that moment of slackness where I took my eye off the ball has now cost me 3 decent winners. I was pretty livid to say the least. I did have one last hope of rescuing the day as I had placed an each way double with Tiggy Wiggy as the first leg. The second leg was in the delayed Darley Irish Oaks but I was confident the 2/1 fav Tarfasha would win (or at least place!). She ran an absolute stinker coming in a poor 5th. My misery was complete.

After a restless nights sleep thinking about what might have been, I woke up on Sunday and had a look at the day’s World Matchplay darts in Blackpool.

Darts is one of my favourite sports and I know all the players well. In the afternoon session I had a small accumulator on the 4 matches which included 3 underdogs. They all won except for a lacklustre Dean Winstanley who let me down for a 31/1 payout. Oh well, no real damage especially as I’d had a decent bet on Paul Nicholson at 5/2 to beat Robert Thornton and he came through the game 10-8. Boy did I need that!

ronnie baxter darts

Ronnie and his annoying permanent grin

I decided to have another acca on the 4 games on Sunday evening. The first one, Michael Smith goes in at 8/11 and next I want Ronnie Baxter to beat Wes Newton, knowing that this was the crucial leg really as he was 6/4. If he won I would expect to land the acca as Phil Taylor and Raymond van Barneveld were 1/10 and 1/4 respectively.

It’s a scrappy match but Baxter gets a decent lead at 6-3 and then it goes 8-4 (first to 10 remember), it’s looking good, how can he lose from here I’m thinking. Newton is playing absolute rubbish but Baxter isn’t much better (they both averaged around just 81) but surely he just has to keep straight and he can fall over the line. This is when I should have been on the ball instead of presuming it was in the bag.

I know from experience that Ronnie Baxter is a bit of a bottler, he often falters when he sees the winning line. So (easy in hindsight), I should have been laying him at this point to all but guarantee a decent profit (I’m assuming Taylor and Barney win which they both comfortably did). He actually went as low as 1.05 in running, and ok perhaps I wouldn’t have laid at the lowest point but I could’ve easily have layed him at say 1.1 ish.

He had 6 darts to go 9-4 up and missed them all and instead the match is now 8-5 and it’s a big turning point. From then on Baxter couldn’t hit a cow’s arse with a banjo and Newton got back in the match and ultimately nicked it 11-9 (you have to win by 2 clear legs) with a brilliant 144 checkout. For the second day in a row I am fuming with myself. I knew about Baxter’s temperament and I didn’t take a golden chance to “green up” my book.

I still thought he would win as Newton was playing so bad but once you have a turning point like that 13th leg, some players like Ronnie Baxter can simply lose the plot and that’s what happened.

So even though I finished the weekend in profit, it could and should have been so much better. I have to stay on the ball at all times. My sloppiness has caused me a lot of frustration this weekend.  So let this be a lesson to myself, get my bets on early with the best odds ideally with a BOG (Best Odds Guaranteed) bookmaker , make sure your Betfair bets actually get matched and always think about ‘cashing out’ your bets especially on known bottlers!

Hopefully I will learn from this and I won’t make these stupid mistakes again, well not for a long time anyway.  I’m off to bang my head against the nearest brick wall.

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