There are good bets, great bets and then very, very occasionally there are stonewall knocking football bets. I rarely tend to find those in the latter category so when I do, they are real collectors’ items, but last Thursday night I found a real gem. Liverpool were playing Manchester United in the Europa League and you could get 5/6 on there being a card in the game before 27 minutes. I knew it would be a blood and thunder affair so that was a price probably worth taking any time these bitter English rivals locked horns. But the fact Spanish ref Carlos Velasco Carballo had dished out no fewer than 80 cards in his previous six matches (including six reds) meant this particular bet had to get the full treatment. 80 cards in six games? That means that big Carlos had been dishing out cards faster than a Las Vegas blackjack dealer.
I was revved up watching the match at home and hoping for some naughty over-zealous 50-50 challenges early on. In the event it took just over two minutes for Jordan Henderson to get his name taken by Carballo. It worked out I made myself a cool £90 in just 130 seconds. “That’s probably on par with Leo Messi or Kanye West,” I announced to ‘er indoors as I proudly strutted to the kitchen to help myself to a celebratory packet of M&M’s.
As Friday afternoons go I was having a blinder last week. I settled on a lamb shawarma for dinner, an absolute steal at £2.50 from a take-away near my work. I was in a good mood anyway but my dopamine levels increased yet further when the geezer behind the till – a jolly Turkish fella with an authentic Chrissy Waddle-esque mullet – gave me change for a score after being handed £10. With the Gods clearly smiling on me I decided to have a punt on Oiche Mhaith Boy in the 2:05pm at Limerick. The nag won by three lengths at evens just as sunshine broke from the gloomy north-east skies. And all seemed right with the world.
Then it happened. A female in our office with a reputation for being a bit of a ‘card’ farted loudly right next to another female who had not been in the job long. Well it all kicked off. The pair exchanged barbs as I tried desperately to slide under my desk. It was proper awkward. One outrageous yet flamboyant act of flatulence had ruined what was turning into a textbook Friday afternoon. Suffice to say there was tension in the air for the next few hours. And Scotch eggs.
Tuesday of course heralded the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, a four-day punting bonanza for gamblers down in the Cotswolds. I took the afternoon off work and was on the couch in my pants watching the drama unfold on TV quicker than you could say “those pants need binning”. It was also payday for me so I had to be careful as I knew theoretically payday + Cheltenham = bread and water for the rest of the month if I wasn’t careful.
My main bet of the day was Altior in the first race at 5/1 and he absolutely jumped them silly to roar home and bag me a cool £125. The banker of the full week Douvan then hacked up in the next and when Vroum Vroum Mag won later in the day I was cartwheeling round the front room like a young Tino Asprilla. What a time to be alive.
Cheeky’s Punt of the Week: Derby to beat Nott’m Forest at 3/4 (Sky Bet)