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The Beeb are Watching

by Roy Brindley |  Published: Jul 01, 2008


Let's make it blatantly clear, I hate the BBC. The decision-makers at this (thankfully, one of the last) pompous imperialistic organisation -- ­who, along with the host of retired sergeants major who direct people to "Members, Owners and Trainers, Tatts" et al. at the likes of Ascot whilst ordering the badgeless riffraff to make their way to their own area way beyond the Bentley-infested car parks, out of sight and out of mind -- are so far removed from reality, it is absurd, perplexing, and irksome.

It's funny I should choose Ascot as a metaphor, as the original public schoolgirl, Clare Balding, will be fronting the meeting for the national broadcaster, and the "jolly hockey sticks" presenter is also likely to be rolled out for the snobbery-personified Wimbledon Tennis Championships.

Now, we all know poker does not exist in the eyes of the Corporation, which is funded by taxpayers' money, and it never will. But tennis, well, that is similarly absent -- for 50 weeks of the year, anyway. Then, as if nothing else in the world matters, there will be wall-to-wall coverage from morning until night on both terrestrial stations (BBC1 and BBC2).

Of course there will be some mention of the Stella Artois Championships a week beforehand -- the BBC has the rights to this event -- which has as much importance on the tennis calendar as the North Dorset and District under nines reserves do compared to the Champions League final.

Thank God that this time around we will not have to endure the pompous fans embroiled in the hysteria surrounding the lost cause that is Mr. Personality himself, Tim Henman, with their pathetic repetitive chants: "Go on, Tim!"

But, all in all, the time and coverage the Beeb affords Wimbledon, whilst seemingly unwilling to acknowledge, possibly unaware, that the U.S. Open and Australian Open even exist, cannot be justified.

Rant over. I best not use up any more column inches in stating the obvious, which is that Roger Federer will win Wimbledon (which runs between June 23 and July 6) and the "tips" (11/10), which should still be available in a few places when the tournament starts, must be hovered up.

Racing Certainty
Yeats was recommended in this column last month at 5/2 for the Ascot Gold Cup (June 24), and although he is likely to go off at even money on the day, I'd suggest putting him in with the tennis ace for a 3/1+ double, which is surely a case of two penalty kicks that should be converted with the minimum of fuss.

Out and Out

I'm no great fan of writing poker-strategy pieces. I firmly believe that only a few people are truly qualified to offer up their judgement -- namely multiple World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour event winners, and not the players who once won something and have subsequently gone broke and now want to share their secrets!

However, at the request of my bureau chief, I'll offer up a simplistic method of calculating the probability of outs arriving, which leads to the all-important science that is pot odds, something far more complex involving components such as equity, return on investment, probability, and implied odds.

Suffice it to say that I'll stick with the simple bit.

On the flop, the probability of an "out" arriving is approximately 4 percent. This is true for the first 10 outs; thereafter, each additional out has an approximate 3 percent chance of landing. So, nine outs works out to be approximately 36 percent, while 12 outs would have a 46 percent chance of coming.

What could be easier? Only the 2.2 percent that each out works out to be on the turn with just the river card to come.

Safe Play
Gaming software provider Playtech has breached the £5.00-a-share mark, representing huge recent growth after having hovered around £3.30 at the start of the year.

Naturally, this is down to impressive 2008 first-quarter results (revenue of $39 million, a 97 percent increase on the $19.8 million earned during the same period in 2007).

Interestingly, casino revenue makes up $27.2 million of those profits, and poker $11 million.

With more and more brands set to sign licence agreements and the company bucking a bear (declining) market, the London Stock Exchange Alternative Investment Market-listed outfit looks like a sound investment.