Congratulations! You’re an 888sport prize winner!
Thank you for taking part in 888sport’s Champions League Final promotion, which took place between the 12/5/2011 – 24/5/2011.


Cue a heart attack at blogger towers as the prize was a 2 VIP Tickets to the final tomorrow. I scrolled down the mail to find that I hadn’t bagged the tickets and it was £50 quids worth of vouchers. A strange sense of relief came over me as it dawned on me that had I  won I would have been faced with a tricky decision- take Mrs Blogger who celebrates her birthday this weekend and is effectively  “giving it up”! to allow me to invite round my best mate and fellow United fan  who we travelled all over watching them in the nineties culminating in that famous night when we were there in Spain to watch them lift the treble.Anyway more of that later….

Before we get on with  Champions League bets I cannot believe the massive market overreaction to what was admittedly a great round of golf at Wentworth yesterday for Luke Donald to shoot seven under. How he can be 2.76 when he has 54 holes left to play and half of the field haven’t even teed off strikes me as touch too short. Let’s hope I don’t live to regret this but I’ve laid him and will look to nick some profit as hopefully he gives up some shots to the rest of the field.

Over at the French Open and 888sport are back with their popular offer where they can offer a refund up to £50 if you are involved in betting on a game with either 5 sets or three tie breaks. It’s an offer I’ve done well out of in previous years and as the tournament progresses and the games (in theory) get closer then there are more that qualify. The secret is in identifying them! Obviously because of the above I’m liking 888 at the moment!

Ok so it’s the Champions League Final on tomorrow  and the bookmakers are pulling out all the stops to make sure you spend your hard earned cash with them. All of the offers are listed here on the website but in a nutshell you are going to have to bet on the correct score/half time full time markets/first goalscorer markets and then wait to see if a refund will apply. There are clearly all sorts of ways of doing these offers and if you subscribe to the MSE (Money saving expert) school of thought you will look to lay in some profit (not before posting all sorts of questions  on the forum and getting your knickers in a twist about it being risk free and possibly losing some pennies!).

The main refunds are either from Paddy Power (If Barca win in 90 minutes) or Stan James, Victor Chandler and Sky if either Messi or Rooney score. Bet Fred are also running their “double delight” (Double the odds if your pick scores the first goal and then scores again in ninety minutes). So if you think that any of the above are likely to happen (and I do) then you just have to work out what is your attitude to risk and how you want to play it. I’ve dutched all the scores under 3.5 goals (ten in total) that because of the reduced odds that are given to enable the bookies to offer these cashbacks mean that you get a 85% return. That’s pretty crap really but if any of the above scores do come in (I obviously have covered the over 3.5 at Betfair to protect my investment) and Messi or Rooney score or Barca win then I’m in the money. I’ve also got a small lay on Barca which if they take the lead I will probably top up.

If you are going to attempt something similar then be aware that different bookies have different refund amounts (VC is only £50) so there is no point in backing for anymore than that amount there. Also remember that your bet has to be a losing one to qualify for a bonus so although it might sound obvious there is no point backing any correct scores with PP that result in a Barca win. I’m also having a wager on Rooney and Messi to score first which dependent on the odds I will overlay with the rationale being that if either of them score first some of the above refunds kick in and also it could possibly be a bit of double delight!

There you go- all the best to United and if they sneak a one nil off John O’Sheas backside in the fifth minute of injury time  and none of the above happens I will still be a happy bunny.

(And of course I would take the Mrs as a birthday treat- I’ve grown attached to my balls and don’t fancy them being cut off!).