Saturday 11 August 2012

Welcome... The Grambler!

Take your shoes off, pull up a chair, make yourself comfortable, etc.

I suppose I should explain what this is and why we are here.  Well, this blog has come to exist on the basis of four facts:

  1. I enjoy football
  2. I like to place the occasional bet on football
  3. I am woeful at betting
  4. There is much fun to be had with spreadsheets
The 2011/12 season ended in spectacular fashion, but the one thing that was evident to me was that another season had passed whereby I had won practically none of my bets.  

Now,  I am by no means a huge gambler... I tend to place just a quid or two on a relatively large number of fixtures each week in the belief that someday it will pay off and provide a decent return.  It has occurred to me that this is, in fact, a mistaken belief.

Well, next week heralds the beginning of a new soccerballing season... Kind of.  Here in Scotland, we will be three weeks into the season and my team (Motherwell, thanks for asking) have an outstanding record of, erm... two draws out of two.  But I digress.  The point is that by the weekend, there will be a full list of fixtures in the UK which means two things... It's time to get a move on with your fantasy team and this would be an ideal time to put a coupon on at the ol' bookmakers.

However, this year will be different!  No longer will I rely on my (admittedly limited) knowledge of players, form, tactics and all things football to make me rich.  I now realise that there is more chance of me gaining monies by random chance.  And I actually mean random by it's true definition, not that "OMG he's like sooooooo random LOL" nonsense that the kids are all spouting these days.  This season, I shall be entrusting my weekly bets to....


Okay, now we're finally getting somewhere.  Here is the plan:  Each week where there shall be a full fixtures list in England (Premiership down to League 2 inclusive) and Scotland (SPL down to Division 3 inclusive), I shall create an Excel file containing all relevant games.  Obviously by create, I mean turn to the good people at who provide a weekly spreadsheet of all footballer fixtures known to mankind (perhaps).  Filtering on the leagues and dates in question will show the games of interest and allow me to delete the under 14s league in Papua New Guinea (no offence intended but they are of no interest to me).  So we now have something that looks like this:

Please note:  This spreadsheet shows the fixtures for Week 2 of the Scottish leagues and contains a load of betting odds, none of which I have any interest in.  I will use Bet365 simply because I have an account there and I am too lazy to open any others.  

The next step will be to delete all of the unwanted data to leave simply the league title, date and competing teams.  The games listings appear in alphabetical order by the home team, much like the majority of official football listings, bookmakers lists and media sources so they are staying that way.

Still with me?  Good.

Now I have an Excel sheet that is ripe for exciting formulae! Actually, not that exciting, basic is probably the word I was looking for.  One will give me a random number by which I can identify a game and t'other will tell me the result.  Thus, using the example, column A will give me a number between 2 and 21 (fx=RANDBETWEEN(2,21) if you're interested) and column B will give me a number between 1 and 3 (fx=RANDBETWEEN(1,3) if you're still interested).  In accordance with the betting site of choice, 1 is a home win, 2 is a draw and 3 is an away win.

So the next question is, how many games to place a bet on weekly?  And the answer is....7!  How did I work that one out?  Easy.  I used a random number generator (see, a theme is starting to emerge here!)

I shall use this process each week to determine which games to place my money on.  On each weekly coupon, I shall place a princely sum of ONE GREAT BRITISH POUND (depending on success and how many people are paying attention, I may up the stakes).  The spreadsheet shall do the rest. 

I shall update this 'ere blog twice weekly; once with the predictions for that week and any thoughts on the predictions, and again with the results and thoughts on the results.  It can't fail, by the end of the season I will undoubtedly be a millionaire!  

So join me for a whole season of fun as I entrust my hard-earned cash (well, about £40 worth of it) to an Excel sheet.  Tell your family, friends, enemies, etc.  Oh and while your at it, have a look at my other blog Rubbertoe Mankini: The Greatest Football Jokes Never Told.  It's self-explanatory really...

Any questions?  Ask away!

If you have found your way onto this page via the About The Grambler Link, please read the second blog post to find out how this has evolved into a charitable project hoping to raise funds and awareness for the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research.

Oh, and the name?  Gambler + Random = Grambler!'

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