This week’s 6 of the Best comes from Jeevan Jeyaratnam, Head of Compilation at Abelson Odds, who is to speak at the sixth annual Betting on Football, being held at Stamford Bridge later this month.
Continue reading to discover a European footballing atmosphere which “has to be experienced,” a nearly moment in the Chinese Super League and a huge musical dilemma.
Really hard to pinpoint this as I have incredibly eclectic taste. Music evokes such strong memories and can trigger euphoric responses in the brain, it is no wonder we are so obsessed with it.
Relationship of Command by At The Drive In is one such pleasure-laden mind jolt. I spent a semester studying in Pennsylvania, USA, back in early 2001. I bought this album from a record shop in a small shopping mall in Indiana, PA. It is stunning and still one of my favourite listens.
Liquid Swords by GZA of Wu-Tang Clan fame, is another stand-out that hasn’t aged a bit. Daisy by Brand New (one of the few bands I have seen live) is another fantastic, slightly off the radar, album by a wonderful band. Metallica’s Black Album needs little introduction and is one of the best pieces of work I’ve ever heard. Other notable mentions include anything by The War on Drugs and, sadly pertinently, Music for the Jilted Generation by The Prodigy
I’ve had some great trips abroad, with hopefully many more to come, but one that stands out was a week spent cycling in Mallorca. It is a cyclist’s dream, immaculately paved roads and long mountain climbs. The island’s stand out climb is the oft photographed Sa Calobra, a category 1 climb that you actually have to descend before you can ascend. Twenty-six hairpins greet each rider, at an average of 7% over 10km, it is not an easy ride.
His star may have fallen with alarming velocity, but Kevin Spacey features in two of my all-time favourite films. His Oscar winning role, as Lester Burnham in American Beauty, is as brilliant as it is contrasting to his Academy award for playing Roger “Verbal” Kint in The Usual Suspects.
However, my favourite film is probably Christopher Nolan’s, The Dark Knight. The late Heath Ledger’s Joker was and is a remarkable piece of acting.
TV is fast overtaking film, in terms of both budget and star appeal, so it would be remiss not to mention my favourite box-set. The Wire catapulted the career of Idris Elba, and it remains one of the most insightful portrayals of middle-American city life. Truly ground-breaking.
Best Sporting Experience
A day at Cheltenham or Royal Ascot is hard to top, but the best sporting experiences I’ve had have either been in Dortmund, or with Dortmund in London for the CL final in 2013. Dortmund’s famous atmosphere has to be experienced, I’ve been part of Die Gelbe Wand (Yellow Wall) on a few occasions and it never fails to send shivers up the spine.
A trip to London, sans tickets, for the 2013 Champions League final, saw myself and two mates, ‘finding’ our way into Wembley just in time for kick-off. It was utterly memorable, even after an afternoon of drinking with the Dortmund fans in the Torch.
I’m an avid reader, bookshops are probably my favourite high street destination. I love sci-fi and fantasy novels and can’t recommend highly enough The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. The first novel in the The Kingkiller Chronicle trilogy, it is an exceptionally good tale. Unfortunately, it has been eight years since book two was released and the fans are getting impatient!
On the non-fiction side, Red Notice by Bill Browder is an utterly unputdownable tale about the corruption and ruthlessness of Putin’s Russia. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser, was the book that changed my lifestyle in a way no other has. You’ll not want another McDonald’s after reading this, so maybe don’t!
I was a season too early for what would have been my best ever wager… Backing Wu Lei to be top scorer in the Chinese Super League for the 2017 season at 80/1. He ended the season in a tie for second with 20 goals. To be fair, Eran Zahavi was exceptional that year, hitting 27. I couldn’t find a market for the 2018 season… typically Lei hit 27 of his own, finishing six clear of ex-Hornet, Odion Ighalo. Nearly, but no cigar. Watch out for Wu Lei at Espanyol for the remainder of this season.
The nature of our business means I am always on the look for obscure goalscorer or player to be carded bets. I’ve had a few nice ones over the years with the few firms remaining who don’t take our Goalscorer Prices & Settlement feed (GPS). Notably, this season, I’ve had a great deal of fun with Zian Flemming of PEC Zwolle. A midfielder, having come through the Ajax youth system, he was tasked with the central striking role after injuries began to take their toll on the small Zwolle squad.
They played strugglers, De Graafschap, in the second round of the KNVB Cup this season. Flemming was a massively overpriced 10/1 to score first, 3/1 anytime and 25/1 to score 2+. Prices of 100/1 about hattricks weren’t quite as big as I made the true price so I left them alone. He’d notched a hattrick before half-time… ending the game with four. After each strike I was able to back him, again, to score the next goal at the same ‘wrong’ price. It was a good night for me and the Zwolle faithful!
Jeyaratnam is to be speaking about VAR at the upcoming Betting on Football conference, in a panel session titled ‘An opportunity or hindrance to the growth of in-play betting?’ taking place on Wednesday 20 March from 10:15-11:00.
This year’s Betting on Football, which will be the sixth edition of the largest international football and betting trade conferences, is due to take place at Stamford Bridge from 19-22 March.
It will be attended by 2,000 senior delegates, in addition to 200 leading industry speakers, 40 key sessions, and over 40 exhibitors. For more information, please click HERE.