- I enjoy football
- I like to place the occasional bet on football
- I am woeful at betting
- There is much fun to be had with spreadsheets
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.
The 2012/13 season was due to commence and I knew that I was in for another season of throwing literally hundreds of pennies down the drain. Something had to change. 'Twas then I had an epiphany! 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. Henceforth, I shall be entrusting my weekly bets to....
The Grambler is essentially just a spreadsheet. Each week where there are enough fixtures taking place in England (Premiership down to League 2 inclusive) and Scotland (SPL down to Division 2 inclusive), an Excel file containing all relevant games is created. Obviously by created, I mean pinched from the good people at www.football-data.co.uk who provide a weekly spreadsheet of all footballer fixtures known to mankind (perhaps).
After tidying the dataset to leave only the games taking place between Friday and Sunday evening, it is just case of adding the highly complex Grambler formulae. And by highly complex, I mean ridiculously simple. In a fresh spreadsheet, one column contains f(x)=RANDBETWEEN(1,67); each number corresponds with a match listed in the dataset (in this example, there are 67 matches taking place, obviously this may vary.) In the next column, the formula is f(x)=RANDBETWEEN(1,3); where 1 is a home win, 2 is a draw and 3 is an away win. And just like that, we have predictions! With the use of of some VLOOKUP and IF functions, Excel fills in the blanks and we are ready to Gramble.
So the next question is, how many games to place a bet on weekly? Well, initially it made sense to ask the Grambler for a random number of games to bet on. He/she/it said seven, and so seven it was. But after a series of failures, it became apparent that seven was perhaps just a little too ambitious and so it was reduced to five. I have had moderate success since but only one jackpot.
The stakes are high... Each week, I place the frankly outrageous sum of ONE WHOLE BRITISH POUND on the predictions. But I am convinced that it shall pay off in time. And it is all for a good cause too! Any winnings shall be going straight to the Bobby Moore Fund for Bowel Cancer Research via https://www.justgiving.com/Geraldine-Smith3. Have a look at the Charity of the website section to learn more.
As all you regular readers know, Stewart Smith, who created The Grambler died on the 29th of August 2013 after a long, painful battle with bowel cancer. Sadly, as so often happens, cancer won, but he wanted his pet project,The Grambler, to keep going after his death to continue to raise awareness of the horrible, horrible disease that is bowel cancer. He passed on the baton, so to speak, to yours truly, Papa Kevkev. I will endeavour to keep The Grambler going in Stewart's honour.
The only changes I have made are the amount bet each week. So I will be sticking to the five game prediction, but rather than putting one British quid on a single all-or-nothing win will put only 20 pee on that bet. Cheapskate do I hear you say? Of course I don't; we're not in the same room. There is more. The all-or-nothing bet does exactly what it says. I put 20p on the five game accumulator. If you are not a gambler your friendly, local
The reason for the change is that predicting all five games correctly is likely to be a very rare occurrence, whereas two, three or even four predictions may happen more often. Yes, it's more cowardly, but it should bring in a return more often.