The quarter finals begin on Thursday 30th and I will take a look at the Poland v Portugal game on Wednesday. So that’s it for a few days after this blog. Anyone for tennis!

The final game yesterday (Hungary v Belgium) was the first game so far in the tournament to actually get to 4 goals and I didn’t trade it in the end (sorry about that) but I did watch most of the second half . The question is, did I miss a bullet or an opportunity? Probably a small bullet in truth but I will talk you through what I imagine I would have been thinking through the game had I been trading it.

I should start by saying that the result was no surprise to me whatsoever and you can get that, I’m guessing from the pre-game blog and previous blogs covering Belgium, not to mention that my money’s on them to win the tournament, (as you’ll see below). Belgium were always going to be a real test for Hungary and I would be trading it knowing that.

I have to make some assumptions as to market and odds as I wasn’t on the game. The market odds in the first half would have been the first thing to consider. A pretty early first goal would have crashed the AO odds some but where were the odds at half time? As it was still 0-1 at half-time, my feeling is that they would have returned to at least where they started or may even have been slightly higher.

However, they could have been slightly less and, to a degree, this is irrelevant anyway. Either way, my trade here, had I been on the game, would have been a 0-1 lay (obviously) after the goal and I very much doubt I would even have considered backing AO, so I would have taken my full AO liability onto the second half (less the reduction from the 0-1 lay).

As to how big the 0-1 lay would have been – well, it was a 10 minute goal to a hot favourite with a game expectation of potentially a big favourite win but we have seen the Euros produce little after a goal time and time again so, the 0-1 lay would have been a pretty small one in terms of the dent it would have made in AO but at what odds?

I have to assume odds of 6 or more on market re-opening after goal 1 (my guess would be between 6 and 7). They may have been smaller but I think that would be a good guess. They would certainly have been dropping again as the game moved closer to half time. I can imagine perhaps then looking closely at AO and wondering if this game was going any further or stalling at that point and deciding that I would do nothing UNLESS AO had gone out to a point where I could back it to green without creating too much of a liability on 0-1.

The ideal, of course, would have been a situation where 0-1 hadn’t been layed and you could back AO leaving that and 0-1 green. Frankly, I doubt that would have been possible in this game but I don’t know for sure.

With goals 2 and 3 coming at 78 and 80 minutes, pressure then would have been building to reverse 0-1 (had I layed it) before that. The secret here would have been what was happening in the game? I saw the second half (well most of it from about 55/60 minutes on) and Belgium were all over Hungary but Hungary did keep trying to counter attack. Given that and given a small loss on 0-1 if it stayed, I would have taken a bit of a gamble on 0-1 and let it run on accepting a loss there if necessary.

After goal 2 with goal 3 coming so soon after, it is quite possible that a 0-2 lay would not have been made. It could be that the market would have stayed in flux between the two goals. A 0-3 lay though would have been possible at pretty low odds given that the game had 10 minutes to run after that. But, nevertheless, a large enough lay on 0-3 to get you out of trouble on AO would have taken a lot of courage and wouldn’t necessarily be the right call.

I would have layed 0-3 to leave some green still on 0-3 electing to leave still a large(ish) AO deficit and therefore, it would now be a game in danger given a 4th goal to Belgium and I would be facing a loss that I estimate to be between 30% and 50% of my original AO liability had it gone to 0-4.

Looking at the pressure Belgium continued to apply right up until the end though, I would have been looking closely to cash-out with a view to cashing out as soon as my “loss” was guaranteed as trivial. I define that personally as anything from -£10 to -£1. Given that the final goal came (as they so often do it seems) in time added on, then I feel pretty sure that a cash-out would have been possible for, at worst, a small overall loss but at best perhaps green or a tiny, tiny profit.

I’m going with a small loss. I’m pretty sure I could have got out with a -£5 loss. I would have looked at my position on the day and tried to keep the day in the black even if it were by pennies. But I would have settled for an overall (small) loss on the day. As I didn’t trade this game, I ended £5 and some pennies up over the two games I did trade so that’s why I would have settled for a -£5 loss on the Belgium game and I am pretty sure, I could have got that.

I can, of course, only speculate here because you can’t see the cash-out details if you have no bets in play but experience tells me that there would have been options to exit for a very small loss at least providing you still had some money on 0-3 (don’t forget, a lay on 1-3 was always possible once 0-3 was the score-line).

In a way, I wish I had been on this game now, as it would have been an excellent training ground to put up as a blog and I am sorry I wasn’t from that point of view, even though I had it down as one to be cautious with. But I was enjoying a very nice Sunday meal with my family and, contrary to what you might think, I have never been a slave to betting and trading. Far from it, indeed, I do it when I want to do it because I want to enjoy it.

On the good news side though, I did do the German game and that could easily have been a 4 goal finish as well and equally served, I believe, as a good training scenario.

Well, one thing is for sure, I have renewed my belief that Belgium could very well be the tournament winners and, as you can see below, I do put my money where my mouth is. Incidentally, having backed Belgium to win when they underperformed and lost 0-2 to Italy in the first group game, I backed them at odds of 19. I then layed them at odds of 9.8 just to make sure that I couldn’t lose on this bet.  I am now seriously considering another lay to put a £10 plus win on everyone but I just need to really assess what I think Belgium will do against Wales first. After all, if Belgium beat Wales, then the odds could drop to around 3 or certainly 4.

winners