News reaches me today, gentle reader, of a worrying scam at a site called bestake.com.
Bestake.com purport to be a betting exchange. You know, kind of like a (very) little brother to betfair or betdaq. The domain name was only registered in December 2009, so they're a very new company. In fact, they didn't even open for business until 10th February this year.
Of course, they have stacks of enticing offers for new customers, but here's the kicker: they're ripping people off!
I received this email from a Geegeez reader:
Sorry i am still so angry i am assuming people know. Â A couple of scams i have identified, first i layed portugal on sunday and although they took my money i could not find any evidence that the bet existed. Â it wasnt anywhere in my bets matched account.
If portugal had lost i doubt i would have seen any money. Â the second and worst scam - they had an advertisement stating "express withdrawal in 4 hours".
I pressed the button and immediately all my money was divided equally between 6 unrealistic bets at poor odds the deal being if the bet won you would get the money in 4 hours, however if one result lost the whole bet was lost.
I thought it had something to do with withdrawing your money but it became an instant bet. Â Some people have lost 8000+ euros. Â its a scandal.
To clarify, it really is the case that people have had their entire account balance 'invested' in a sequence of outcomes that would match the National Lottery for likelihood of a return on investment.
I dug around the interweb a little more, and found that others have fallen victim of these unscrupulous soon-to-be-out-of-business scumbags. The below is replicated from sportsbookreview.com:
SBR has received 30 complaints from Bestake players on the sportsbook's new "Show me the money" feature. Bestake placed a link for the promotion next to an inaccurate description: "New Feature: Express 4 hours withdraw. Start now.".
Players clicked on the link believing they were withdrawing money, and saw their entire account balance disappear. Players balances were divided up into 6 ''matched'' bets in equal; amounts on the following games:
Slovenia/England Draw at 4.50
Ghana (vs Germany) at 5.4
USA/Algeria Draw at 3.8
Japan (vs Denmark) at 3.55
Italy (vs Slovakia) at 1.7
Korea/Ivory Coast Draw at 5.4
When you are choosing this option the system will automatically choose 6 events to win, all your found in the account will be split between those events. you must win all the games ( all the games are considered as one event), if you lose one game your will lose the whole event. The winner will get a withdraw after 4 hours guaranteed of the last event + 15% bonus of the winning amount.
Bestakes promotion violates contract law and common sense. Players attempting to withdraw instead were given six World Cup bets they did not want. Additionally, the prices given on the matches were unreasonably low. For example, Slovenia was matched at a price of 4.5 (+350), while Pinnacle was offering Slovenia at 7.99 (+699). Finally, the rules for the promotion are unclear at best, and unconscionable at worst. One reading of the rules could treat the 6 wagers as a parlay paying very poor odds. Bestake was asked about this, but offered no clarification. SBR has recommended that Bestake void all the wagers created from the misleading link, and pay the players their balances.
I am aghast at how Bestake have the bare-faced nerve to suggest that what they're doing is even remotely entertaining or ethical.
My advice to you is, if you have cash in this account, withdraw it right now, while you can.
Moving on, and a quick recap of a couple of things from this week and the last few weeks. Firstly, amazingly, I'm STILL receiving more emails about Quantum Betting.
Yesterday, I learned it is 'the Betting System of the Year, 2010'. Wow! Really? Well, actually, no not really. It's not good.
Today, I learned 'How Just 5 Minutes A Day Can Get Me An Aston Martin'... Wow! Really? Well, actually, no not really. This is another system by the same seller - Shawn Jacobs. Guess what? It's not good.
At the risk of repeating myself ad nauseum, if anyone offers you the chance to buy a car, or quit your job, or live in a mansion, or live in dream holiday homes, for Â£27... well, the very best of luck to you. 😉
A portfolio approach with a few tried and trusted systems / methods is the best (and easiest) chance that we have of making money from our betting. And always will be.
(I do hope you haven't bought Quantum Betting... if you did and want to get your money back, see previous post: Quantum Betting Review: Scam?)
Now then. As you may know, I've been in Norway for the past eight days, and I arrived back last night. For those of you who have never been, I can tell you a few things about Norway:
- It is excruciatingly expensive. Eight quid for a pint of beer brewed across the street from the pub we were drinking it in! Fifty quid an average per head dinner price for starter and main course.
- The North was cold and wet and has no night time.
- The South was hot and dry and had a couple of hours of night time.
- Norway has staggering natural beauty (and I'm not just talking about the women)
- They're not in the World Cup, but they still love football and especially the Premier League
In summary, I enjoyed it very much, but it cost me an arm and a leg. And, as always, I'm very glad to be home in dear old Blighty.
Talking of the World Cup, it's been a funny old game so far, and I suspect it will get no less strange for a while yet. France were feckless (as in incompetent and lazy, but also as in couldn't give a feck), Italy were insipid (as in bland and showing nothing deserving of advancement).
England, in truth, were no better. Backs to the wall in the last game they did at least show some spirit, if still not very much intellect. And herein, I believe, lies England's problems at this World Cup: they are just not very bright.
Now I appreciate this may be earth-shattering news to some 😉 ("England footballer in failed MENSA test shocker!") but it's true. They are also not very worldly. In fact, they're not at all worldly.
When push comes to shove, they just brown their jockstraps a little bit. I mean, did you see North Korea? (The North Korea who played Brazil, not the mob who surrendered to Portugal).
They pressed, they harried, they worked, they worked some more, and then they worked a little bit more. I'm actually pretty glad they weren't in England's group.
What about New Zealand? The same: moderate talent bolstered by fulsome heart.
And my favourite team performance of the World Cup so far? It has to be Mexico's full-on pumping of France! Those Mexicans will make a game of it against Argentina on Sunday and, if England have at least made a game of it against Germany earlier in the day, it could be a day to savour.
I recommended three bets in my original World Cup betting guide piece. The first was Mexico to beat South Africa. It finished 1-1, and with hindsight 'draw no bet' is the way to back in such scenarios.
The second was Slovakia to qualify from Group F at 13/10. They were pretty moderate, but mercifully not as moderate as Italy or New Zealand. And I got paid out on that one.
The third and last was Switzerland to progress from Group H, at odds of 13/8. Having won their opener against Spain in one of the shocks of the round, they looked set fair. But a subsequent loss to impressive Chile leaves them needing to score a couple against Honduras and win, or hope that Chile nick a point off Spain.
Spain are 1/3 to qualify and,as Chile are not certain of qualification, and a loss to Spain could see them exit, this looks a hum-dinger of a tie and I'd be laying Spain for small money. A draw is not enough for them.
Switzerland are 4/7 to progress and I've traded out of my bet for a 0.8 point profit (nobody ever went skint taking a profit - it's an old cliche, but we sports punters should heed it more often, for sure!)
I've backed two teams in the outright markets, with a view to trading out.
Uruguay (backed at 20) have impressed me from the outset. Yes, they can be horribly undisciplined. But they qualified top of a tough section, and did it with some style. They have tough guys at the back and in the middle, and in Suarez and Forlan, they have one of the best strike partnerships at the tournament.
Next up for Uruguay is South Korea. Whilst the Koreans have energy and structure about them, they don't have the panache or the power of Uruguay. After that, they'll face either USA or Ghana: my money is on Ghana.
The Africans have performed well, where few of the host continent's teams have, so credit for that. But I suspect the Uruguayans have too much firepower.
In the semi-finals, they will probably face either Holland or Brazil. Obviously, they'll be underdogs to win this, but their opponents will have had a torrid time in the quarters, and I can trade out at this point in any case. So it's my intention to trade out after the quarter-final, assuming Uruguay get that far. (Don't forget that Uruguay are actually one of only seven teams to win the thing, and one of only five to win it more than once - the others being Brazil, Argentina, Italy and (West) Germany).
Portugal (backed at 21) are my other trading punt. I was sweet on them to get out of the group, and they may yet top it, depending on how they go against Brrrrazzeeeeel this afternoon. They are more likely to finish second, but the top team in Group H is probably not going to be Spain, meaning an easier game in the round of 16, probably against either Switzerland or Chile.
Even if they did face Spain, it's an Iberian derby and will not be straightforward for the pre-tournament favourites. Next up would be the winner of the Paraguay-Japan game, probably Paraguay. Again, they'd be reasonably evenly-matched, but I'd slightly favour the Portuguese.
The one negative about them is that - despite bashing in seven against the Mr Hyde half of North Korea - they're pretty mediocre in front of goal. If they improve that, they can be a threat. I'll be looking to get out after the Paraguay game, and maybe before depending on how they're playing.
Other World Cup observations:
- European teams on the whole are struggling
- African sides have performed pretty much to form. Sadly, they're not a great vintage right now.
- South American teams remain unbeaten in the tournament, which is a pretty strong portent of things to come. Maybe.
- A German is the best player in the tournament so far. Mesut Ozil is his name, and he's a class act: a little imp of a player that I'd love to see in the Premier League. He could destroy England, and we'll have to watch very closely for him. And the returning Klose.
- Refereeing has been, on the whole, pretty good. I've managed to 'do it in' on several occasions buying cards in matches where ref's have been fair to the point of leniency. Frustrating but, on balance, good for the competition.
- Goals have been hard to come by, and will continue to be. It's not been thrilling in that context. For saddo's like me, who enjoy the strategy and tactical side of things as much as goals, it's been fascinating. But a bit more class would certainly be welcome.
- Messi is not Maradona. And never will be. If you don't believe me, watch the below. (I spent an hour the other night watching Maradona videos on youtube - it was brilliant!)
GOALS (Starts around 21 secs mark, check out the goal at 1:21)
THE BEST GOAL EVER... HARD TO SEE BUT WORTH SQUINTING
That's it for today - have a great weekend!