Sunday, July 19, 2009

The bookmakers Sky Bet have the slogan "It matters more when there's money on it". Very true.

There's nothing quite like watching football, or any sport, if you have money riding on it.

I've never been a huge gambler. Never really done the weekly coupon, just the odd game or event that takes my fancy. I always make an exception with the World Cup though. Win some, lose more on that every four years! Been chuffed with some of my winning bets on that over the last few tournaments though.

Today though I had the most rollercoaster bet I've ever had and it wasn't even on football.

At the end of the second round of the The Open golf on Friday night, I stuck a tenner on Tom Watson to win as they were offering amazing odds of 33/1. Staggering odds really considering he was leading at the time.

It was looking a cracking bet right up to the last putt on the final hole today. One putt away from winning a whopping 330 quid. Ah well, them's the breaks, but still a right sickener!

During it all I couldn't help but recall the last really big money bet I was part of and it's a worse bad beat story than the one above. I wasn't the better, but did stand to get a slap up meal out if things had gone well.

It was during Euro 96 and my best mate stuck a tenner on the unfancied Czech Republic to win the thing. They were 75/1 and he'd done his homework and was really confident that they had a great shot.

The qualifying and subsequent rounds was another emotional rollercoaster and the Czechs made the final, playing some cracking football on the way.

We all gathered at my house to watch the final, with 750 pounds at stake for my mate and meals all round at stake for us.

When the Czechs took the lead the place was pandemonium. Germany equalised and then went on to win with a Golden Goal five minutes into extra time from Oliver Bierhoff. The deflation was unlike any I had experienced before or probably since.

Stewart Cink was my Oliver Bierhoff today. Snatching my wad of money away at the last minute with a Faginlike guffaw.

It was great value for my ten quid though. Never has such a small amount of money given me so many highs and lows.

Sport is always fantastic to watch but Sky Bet are right. Have a little flutter on it at the same time and it's the best thing in the world.

And even nicer when you win!
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