Greetings, news.bwin.com/en/ readers. My name is John Baines and over the course of the upcoming football season, I will aim to demonstrate how easy it is to turn £10 into £10,000.
Now I realise this immediately sounds like one of those ominous online offerings which promises to make you irresistible to the opposite sex or give balding men a head of hair like David Ginola.
And in many respects, the £10 to £10k challenge is very similar to those ominous online offerings, in so much as there are absolutely no guarantees this will work – in fact, it probably won’t – but if that couple from Suffolk didn’t stick a couple of quid on the EuroMillions, they wouldn’t be £150 million up, would they?.
The £10 to £10k challenge isn’t a new concept but the rules remain the same and from the outset, the chances of success seem particularly good to the ever-optimistic punter.
The modus operandi is to place a single bet on odds of no shorter than 1/10 or 1.10 with your initial £10 stake and each time you win, you then use your entire balance on the next bet, to which the same rules apply.
I have a feeling this challenge will eventually consume my life. I know I will become housebound, my social life will be non-existent and my girlfriend will leave me for someone who does not spend all day furtively swatting up on the Costa Rican Torneo de Invierno.
And assuming every bet you place is a 1/10 shot exactly and they keep winning, the tenner can be turned into £10,000 in a surprisingly low 73 bets.
Of course, the 1/10 price is an upper boundary, so if I’m feeling really ‘daring’ and go for the odd 1/8 chance, for instance, the number of punts required to get to the five-figure cash-out will subsequently decrease.
It’s important to emphasise at this stage that this isn’t a get rich quick scheme and if you’re looking for an instant return to pay the gas bill, then this isn’t the challenge for you.
Instead, using patience, research, bwin’s vast pool of global football markets, more research and plenty of luck, each week I will be placing two supposedly sure-fire bets to gradually inch my way towards the promised land of £10,000.
The beauty of this softly-softly, catchy monkey technique is that to get to the targeted winnings, at some point I will have to stake literally hundreds or thousands of pounds in the hope that the Uzbekistan league leaders do their job or some rubbish from the Finnish Kakkonen Lohko Etela don’t play the game of their lives and upset the apple cart.
Like Morgan Spurlock in ‘Supersize Me’, I have a feeling this challenge will eventually consume my life. I know I will become housebound, my social life will be non-existent and my girlfriend will leave me for someone who does not spend all day furtively swatting up on team news and form for the Costa Rican Torneo de Invierno.
But then again, if I win ten grand, I’ll have plenty of friends and I’ll definitely be able to get a new girlfriend.
So without much further ado, let’s get the ball rolling and turn this tenner into about eleven quid or so. Here goes…
Bet 1: Italy to beat England with a two-goal headstart @ 13/100
After (hopefully) putting myself under massive scrutiny with the huge following this challenge is sure to command, I have immediately become fraught with nerves and have begun to doubt the outcome of some fairly routine matches.
As it’s an international week, I’ve decided that my initial dabble should go on one of the midweek friendlies – but perusing the fixtures, I see nothing but withdrawals and players going through the motions ahead of club duties at the weekend.
For instance, Spain are arguably the greatest national side of all time but suddenly their trip to Puerto Rico – ranked 138th in the world – seems like a very tricky proposition indeed. At the back of my mind is Spain’s 2-2 draw in Costa Rica last spring, coupled with an image of Jose Mourinho and Tito Vilanova giving their men the three-line whip to exert as little effort as possible before promptly packing them off on their travels.
Closer to home, Portugal host Panama and are 7/25 for the win, but after finding out that the Panamanians have won nine of their last 11 games and recalling the goalscoring travails of Paulo Bento’s men at Euro 2012, I also quickly went off that idea.
So eventually, after much to-ing and fro-ing, I’ve decided to settle on a side who are constitutionally bound to guarantee disappointment – or success in my case – on the international stage.
Yes, you guessed it. Step forward, England.
Roy Hodgson has selected a scratch squad to face Italy at the not-at-all-amusingly-named Wankdorf Stadium in Berne and with that in mind, I’m plumping for an Azzurri win.
However, there’s no way I’m sticking my precious £10 on an outright Italy win at 39/20 and instead, after scrolling through bwin’s whopping 93 markets for the match, I have decided to back the Italians to win with a 2-0 headstart.
In other words, I can only fall embarrassingly at the first hurdle if England win by two goals or more. Fat chance, judging by the lesson the Three Lions were given just a few short weeks ago in Kiev by Andrea Pirlo and company, regardless of the mass changes in personnel on both sides for the latest meeting (if anything, that should aid my cause).
Coming in at 13/100 at the time of writing, this bet, if successful, will rocket my pot to an awe-inspiring £11.30 as the long and winding road to glory begins.
If you do have a go (or if you simply want to laugh at me if and when I lose and then decide to start again, unperturbed), make sure to follow us on Twitter @bwin and on Facebook at facebook.com/bwin and let us know how you’re getting along.