I’ve had an email about the 22nd June games and what I did on the day and I was going to quickly cover this in the next preview blog that I am about to write but figured it was probably tidier to cover it separately especially as the Portugal game was such a good one and (I’m embarrassed to say) such a missed opportunity for me.

First off, I will start by saying I traded none of the games on 22nd June in the end.

The 5pm games simply didn’t appeal and the Iceland game didn’t qualify at all with huge AO odds on offer. Although there were good AO odds on the Hungary v Portugal game (AOAW was around 11 at kick-off time) I simply couldn’t get a fix on the game in my mind and so after much too-ing and fro-ing in my head I left it alone.

I wasn’t around for the 8pm games but I did have a brief look at odds on these at around 7,30. Sweden v Belgium looked like it might have worked on odds but Italy v Northern Ireland seemed out of the question as far as odds were concerned. Either way, qualify or not qualify, I had to go out so I have no real idea how the games moved in play. The end results tell me that, at best, anyone trading them would have been in and out again with (at best) very small profits. It was very satisfying to see Ireland beat Italy of course.

Hungary v Portugal, An Observer’s Perspective

Part of me expected a big game from Portugal that could easily lead to them getting 3 or 4 goals and part of me was insisting that they were just basically not up for the fight and this could easily be a bore draw – how wrong I turned out to be about that possibility. In the end, there is no doubt, my indecision cost me a great trading game as, form the first kick, it was non-stop action.

Am I sulking about it? No; you will see me (may have already seen me) say that if it doesn’t feel right to you, then don’t do it and this goes to show that I don’t always get it right but at least I follow (most) of my own advice.

I would not have been surprised at a win to Portugal of pretty much any score-line once it started even though I actually expected a low scoring affair beforehand.  I could not have imagined the 3-3 end result that we saw though, and the beautiful way it unfolded.

As the game progressed I could feel myself cringing because I had talked myself out of a stunner. It was ASP heaven and I didn’t get involved! More to the point there was no sensible entry point having not got involved from the beginning really. Why was it so good (or should have been) so good to trade?

Well, had I traded it, I would have started with a reasonably good stake on AOAW of at least £5 or £6 at odds of 11 and at least half of that stake on 0-0 . When Hungary went 1-0 up that was just wonderful from a trading perspective as it allowed a lay on 1-0 (against the flow of your AO liability) and the odds to lay 1-0 were around 6 shortly after the goal. I wasn’t watching the exchange like a hawk but I saw enough to see that a 1-0 trade was available at that level almost immediately after the market settled and it soon dropped a little more into the 5’s.

There and then you could have also traded back out of AOAW if you were so inclined or in anyway nervous. Certainly at 35 minutes or so, the AOAW odds were good enough to trade out with a profit. Of course, I would not have done that. Having layed 1-0, a 1-1 next step was on the cards as was a 2-0 to Hungary. Portugal, even when 1-0 down, always looked like scoring it must be said and 1-1 seemed very likely to me. Their approach from the start in this game was completely different to what it had been in the two prior games.

Sure enough, shortly before half-time, it was 1-1 and it looked like Portugal might finally be starting their Euro 2016 campaign in earnest. Another lay here on 1-1 would have been a no-brainer and by now the middle would  have been building nicely. As a matter of fact, without a doubt, I would have layed 1-1 quite heavily here as both sides were creating goal-scoring opportunities and Portugal, particularly, finally looked hungry (pardon the pun) for a win.

What could then have been better than another goal to Hungary early in the second half? Very much against the run of play Hungary struck again and a lay opportunity at 2-1 presented itself. Given that it did seem to be against the run of play I think, again, I would have gone in quite heavily here but I appreciate that it’s easy being wise after the event when you weren’t actually financially involved but my thought process through the game may have some merit for you nevertheless.

The reply to 2-2 from Portugal wasn’t long after and this could have been a stress point in the game for anyone hesitating about a 2-1 lay. Too much hesitation there would have seen the market suspend before a 2-1 lay got on. I would have been straight in again with another lay on 2-2 for one simple reason. Ronaldo. He actually looked as if he was going to take over this game completely by now and I could see him putting in more goals. In fact, in the end I was surprised that he scored only 1 more but, what a cheeky goal it was with his little back heel flick into the net!

When Hungary went 3-2 up I was stunned. I expected the game to go to 3-2 but the other way around and again, what a beautiful lay opportunity. In fact, given that the lay levels were sensible at 1-0, 1-1, 2-1 and 2-2 then the 3-2 lay should have seen any AO liability killed off and 3-2 still showing (at least) scratch if not a small profit. Of course, it is entirely possible that it was all green by 2-2. This really was as good as it gets, a laying bus that stopped everywhere on route! The only surprise in the end was that it did finally stop at 3-3.

I was trying to think after the game where, if anywhere, a trade could have gone wrong (accepting that, of course, they can always go wrong). What I mean is, where were the specific pressure points? I already mentioned above that the time between 2-1 and 2-2 wasn’t that generous so undue hesitation here could have skipped a lay. There is no way anyone watching the game though could not be expecting more goals at that stage.

I wondered whether there could/would have been hesitation to lay at 3-2 but, again, I concluded no, as the action was still flowing fast and furious and when Ronaldo struck again and made it 3-3, even then, I figured more goals were coming. Would I have layed at 3-3? Possibly but only if that lay didn’t put me in trouble in the event of it staying 3-3; but given all the other opportunities along the way, I doubt there would be any way I could have been in trouble at the 3-3 stage in reality.

So there you have it. Big opportunity missed there by someone who should know better but, then again, my gut said no and I follow my gut.