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Willie Shafter.
15 Jul 20 18:35
Date Joined: 15 Jul 04
| Topic/replies: 38,852 | Blogger: Willie Shafter.'s blog
Betfair changed the face of the betting industry when launching what would become the world's largest online exchange 20 years ago. In two decades the company has muscled its way to the top of the division, capped by a mega merger with Paddy Power in 2016. 
An early companion for the nascent exchange was the Betfair forum, which brought together a community who not only traded on the exchange but also traded opinion, banter and insults with like-minded individuals.
In an era long before Twitter and influencers on social media, the Betfair forum was racing's soundboard, a place where voices could emerge and be heard.
It was also a place for professionals to share their expertise, while those with less experience had a chance to pick up valuable tricks of the betting trade. Not always without controversy, it was organic, real and more often than not entertaining to observe.
Love Divine wins the 2000 Oaks, the first race traded on Betfair
Love Divine wins the 2000 Oaks, the first race traded on Betfair
Gerry Cranham (
The beginning
Betfair's first market was the 2000 Oaks at Epsom, won by Love Divine on June 9, on which just £1,476 was matched. It did not take long for business to mushroom and, by the time of the 2005 Oaks, more than £2.7 million was matched. It was a similar story for the forum, which started as a small and select community but expanded into its own universe. 
Mark Davies, part of Betfair's founding team
We had a very loyal group of people at the start. The internet was right at its infancy back then and these things didn't exist – it was all new. Therefore the people who found us and used us absolutely loved us and coined the term for themselves as the 'Betfairians' and they became the group that would exchange banter on the forum. It brought those people together in the way a chatroom is absolutely meant to. They'd exchange stories about what they thought, their tips and the bets they'd made.
The birth of Betfair: 'You're illegal and we're going to shut you down' - how the exchange survived and won
Barry Orr, Betfair's current head of public relations and part of the company since 2003
The reason behind the forum initially was that it mirrored the betting exchange. We brought people together to bet against each other and the forum was a natural community where those people could engage with each other. That's what it was all about – to create a community for people who bet on the exchanges to talk to each other. For racing it was a precursor for Twitter.
Coming together
Those who used the forum in its formative years remember a vibrant environment boasting a healthy mix of information and humour that made for an entertaining platform on which to engage.
Joe Saumarez Smith, among the first ten to post on the forum as soapy j
When the Betfair forum came along there was a remarkable number of shrewd people on there who taught other people how betting worked. They put up decent information, talked about the mathematics and explained that laying horses blind was not a good strategy. I think a lot of the early users of Betfair learned about gambling from the forum. I learned loads from it. There were lots of very sharp people and lots of people who were specialists in obscure areas.
Professional punter Matt Williams
The Betfair forum at its best was full of humour, useful information, the occasional bit of needle and a sprinkling of spite. There was a time when I was working on the Trading Post, in the Racing Post, and we had to cherry-pick the best content for use in the paper the following day. The forum had a generous, knowledgeable following, with various members of the racing press known to get involved from time to time, and things could often turn spicy on there. All the ingredients for a worthwhile, vibrant and social experience online.
Barry Orr
You had some of the finest racing minds on there. Obviously it was always under a pseudonym but initially there was great debate and some really interesting threads. It was real-time messaging. A race would just be over and someone would create a thread on it and you'd get 20 or 30 interactions straight away. Before anyone had ever heard the word 'influencers', there were people influencing on the forum, talking about betting in-running, talking about different software you could use or posting tips. Some really well-informed people would post and it was an exciting place.
Graham Wheldon, Racing Post spotlight writer and on the forum as Chompy
I'm not sure the Betfair forum was ever a community really – more a good place to wind people up. I think it was mainly pro punters on there, who in breaks between races would tap into the forum and mess around a bit. It was people dangling bait to see who would bite.
Kevin Blake, ITV racing pundit known as Irish Whisper on the forum
I don't have a racing background and wouldn't have had a lot of friends who were into racing and it's amazing the amount of people I met through the forum that I went on to meet at the racecourse, many of whom I'm still good friends with. At the time Betfair was a new frontier and I found it great. They put in an Irish forum fairly early and everyone got to know each other well. We'd meet up on the big racedays for a few pints.
Barry Orr: "The forum was a community for people who bet on the exchanges"
Barry Orr: "The forum was a community for people who bet on the exchanges"
Alan Crowhurst
Everyone a winner
It was not just the Betfairians who benefited from the forum, with the brains behind the business using it as a sounding board for what was and wasn't working for their infant company. It was also a platform for would-be professional punters and aspiring journalists to cut their teeth.
Mark Davies
We used to use the forum quite a lot as the customer feedback. We'd read it and see what people wanted. They didn't necessarily feel they were telling us when they put it up and, like any third-party conversation, when you eavesdrop you get better feedback than when you ask for the feedback directly.
Barry Orr
From a business point of view, it kept people engaged with the website as well. When they weren't involved in the race, they'd go on to the forum. Our guys were always on the forum because, if there was a problem with the site or a market wasn't up properly, the first place you'd hear about it was on there.
Kevin Blake
I cut my teeth writing on there as a teenager. I started to write race previews and give opinions and you'd get feedback straight down the pipe with no sugar coating, so it wasn't a bad place to learn and it directly helped me. I was in college at the time and not enjoying it. I sent CVs everywhere and the only response I got was from the Irish Field, because Donn McClean was there at the time and he was familiar with my writing on the forum. They gave me a crack because of that.
James Knight, Coral trader who posted on the forum as the mole
It's very similar to Twitter now. Anyone who works for a bookmaker wants to be alive to what's going on. There were always bits and pieces that came into the public domain via the Betfair forum, so it definitely helped. If you didn't look at it you'd probably see a massive move for something and then realise someone posted it half an hour ago. Anyone who follows a sport closely will want to immerse themselves in anything where there's interesting news and views. It used to be quite funny and very informative at the same time.   
Paul Smith, Racing Post spotlight writer known as Quito on the forum
Eddie Fremantle was a big user and, once you realised there were clever people on there, it paid to follow because you never know everything. There were some nuggets on there. It sailed a little too close to the wind sometimes but it was in the early days of online communities and a good way for like-minded people to discuss what was going on.   
James Knight (centre): "The forum used to be quite funny and very informative"
James Knight (centre): "The forum used to be quite funny and very informative"
Happy memories
From big-priced tips to racing folklore, everything was covered in conversation on the forum in its heyday, with no shortage of tall tales from those closest to it.

Joe Saumarez Smith
There was a fantastic rugby league guy who knew the game inside out. He had no clue about staking but when he wrote out his thinking on a game it was fantastic. There was another guy called Don Butler. His forum name was Cubone. His spelling was atrocious but it was just the most fantastic history of racecourse bookmaking. The insight and the stories, you could read them for hours. That's what I miss. In the early years it was almost self-policing. If people posted good stuff others rewarded it, but if you just put up selections you'd get taken apart. It was gambling Twitter before its time.
Paul Smith
It was good fun and the characters were definitely there. Most of the people who were the funniest were the most informed. I remember ppking and janov, who was a tremendous character. He was a 6ft 10in giant with a broad Bristol accent. He was so sarcastic and posted some belters. Then there was a hapless Scottish tipster called Aceform, who was the good guy to ppking's villain. He did a series of tipping challenges, including 'One A Day, The Aceform Way'. I met a lot of them at the races and most were very different to how you imagined them to be and I still see some of them regularly.
Kevin Blake
There were some great old characters on there and a good few high-profile people. One that stands out was Mike Futter, who owned Monty's Pass and used to post on there. You couldn't read what he was saying and not back Monty's Pass for the National. He was open with everyone that he really fancied the horse. That was a memorable one. It was fun to read ppking, janov and Aceform, who tended to write as he would have spoken. He put up his bets every day and was clearly not the best punter. He was having a good bet one day on a horse over fences and the horse ended up refusing. He half jumped the fence and ended up stuck on top of it. The first post that came up on the original thread where he'd posted the selection was from ppking, saying: 'Your horse appears to be perched on top of a fence, Aceform.' It was merciless. There were plenty of professionals on there too, like Emmet Kennedy, Graham Cunningham, Justin O'Hanlon and Richard Hoiles.
Graham Wheldon
I used to use the 'specials' forum for Big Brother stuff. Some of that was quite useful. The main guy on there was DJ Sunset - he was worth following and a well-known punter. The specials forum was probably more useful than the racing one in my opinion and good fun when Betfair was at its peak.
James Knight
There were some good discussions on the ante-post forums where people would argue who was the better horse, Moscow Flyer or Azertyuiop, and those sort of debates that don't happen as much now. There were some clever people on there and, if you knew who the right people were, you could learn quite a lot. There used to be interesting things on the general betting threads – about the state of the industry, commission rates and Betfair's premium charge. There were some very well-informed people on there speaking about where betting was going and that's as much of a miss today as the silly fun stuff.
Matt Williams
At the beginning, and for a lengthy period of time, you had strength in numbers, which inevitably lends itself to healthy, often informative debate. It was a great place for punters to vent their frustrations over a bad ride, poor training performance, outrageous bad luck or an annoying pundit infiltrating your living room on any given day – and I wasn't immune from criticism myself. As long as it doesn't get too personal, I think that's a good thing. There were so many characters like Warwick hunt, DoubleD, muffinman and Alain Charnier, who were bang into their racing and prolific on there.
Turning sour
Despite such a positive, revolutionary beginning, the forum eventually started to take a different direction, with insight all too often being replaced with insults. A combination of Betfair's huge popularity and vast increase in users, as well the invention of various social media outlets, all had consequences.
Mark Davies
It was the best of Betfair but it was also the worst. It went through a period when it was utter misery because people would just say horrible things in the way they do on forums. I have as much sympathy for anybody as I was the target of quite a lot of the toxic posts because I was Betfair's public face. It's a bit like Twitter today, people think they can write what the hell they want.
Barry Orr
It was a bit of a minefield and did cause us some headaches in terms of who was responsible for the content that was aired on there. But it was never meant to be that sort of a place. It was meant to be a community talking about the exchange but a certain element seemed to take hold of certain threads and drove out a lot of well-informed people. Then Twitter came along and a lot of that opinion is on there now.
Matt Williams
Some of the stick dished out was unfair, maybe even out of order, and after a while the forum became quite toxic. Accusations of foul play and crooked rides used to fly around the place, as well as cruel jibes, and personally speaking I naturally moved away from the day-to-day involvement. I couldn't be arsed with the fact the scales, over time, were weighted in favour of the nasty stuff. I'd imagine it was a similar story for plenty of other members as well.
James Knight
That's the nature of social media – you get the early adopters who feel they are part of something different and it's all good fun and then you get an influx of anonymous people. As there was more abuse and anonymous people saying things about others, I think people became bored of it. Unfortunately, people turn down posting interesting stuff because they don't want to engage.
The Betfair forum lives on to this day
The Betfair forum lives on to this day
Edward Whitaker
The present day
The forum lives on to this day but appears to have slipped down the pecking order as the place to be heard when the big talking points arise.
Joe Saumarez Smith
Forums are a little bit past it now. People have moved on to Twitter and younger bettors would consider it to be an old format.
Mark Davies
I've not followed it since I left Betfair but I would think the reason it's changed is as much a function of the growing user base as anything. When we had just a few thousand customers it was like a club but there's several million customers now. It's much harder to gain a cachet on there. 
Barry Orr
There're still interesting people posting interesting stuff but it's not anywhere near as influential as it was.
Kevin Blake
After I've worked on TV I'll have a look because you know you'll get direct feedback on there and, even if it's nasty, I don't mind because there's often some truth in there.   
Matt Williams
I'll still have a look at the forum and it's got some of the old characters lingering, those who have stood the test of time. And, like the old days, you can still pick up the odd nugget of info and get more than a whiff of decency.
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Report Willie Shafter. July 16, 2020 7:00 PM BST
how do you abuse anyone on an anonymous forum using a sobriquet?
Report seaside July 16, 2020 7:04 PM BST
Can someone tell me where I am mentioned please there's to many words for me to pick myself out.
Report DOUBLED July 16, 2020 7:25 PM BST
A motley bunch Laugh
Report hulk23 July 16, 2020 7:43 PM BST
how do you abuse anyone on an anonymous forum

by openly threatening to murder them ?
Report s.kenbo July 16, 2020 8:05 PM BST
That was a decent read.

Nice mention, Shafter. Cool
Report shady69 July 16, 2020 9:58 PM BST
Nostalgia is not what it used to be ...
Report Willie Shafter. July 16, 2020 10:00 PM BST
how do you murder anyone on an anonymous forum using a sobriquet?
Report chelsea girl July 16, 2020 11:04 PM BST
Nice to see my 'amour' Alain mentioned in dispatches. Love
Report hunt lunt and cunningham July 17, 2020 7:02 AM BST
The poster I was thinking about was of course Do Wa Diddy !
Report jumper3 July 17, 2020 11:26 AM BST
Whenever I read anything Alan Charnier put up as it was so polite, and posh. Terry Thomas in his pomp sprang to mind, outwardly a gentleman, in reality, a complete Bounder.

Is Don Butler (Cubone) still with us? He sounded back then as if he was at least in his 70s.
Report Pilsudski July 17, 2020 12:05 PM BST
Report ribero1 July 17, 2020 12:09 PM BST
Don Butler still about.
Report onlooker July 17, 2020 12:26 PM BST
Yes - We had a long Thread on Don Butler - aka Cubone  - aka Lukehart (his son's Forum account, I imagine)

Somebody posted that he was still scheming.  Happy
Report jumper3 July 17, 2020 2:15 PM BST
Thanks for that. Nice to hear. Never met the guy unless for all I know I may have done as I was regularly at all the big courses close to London, during the late 70s until about 1990. You'd see the same faces then on course.
Report onlooker July 17, 2020 2:23 PM BST
He used to bet 'The Away Meetings' - jumper3
Report stewarts rise July 17, 2020 2:30 PM BST
Don't think you could call Dons activities Betting! More like daylight robbery!GrinBut i do like him.
Report punchestown July 17, 2020 2:31 PM BST
Whenever I read anything Alan Charnier put up as it was so polite, and posh. Terry Thomas in his pomp sprang to mind, outwardly a gentleman, in reality, a complete Bounder

And a penchant for the finest wines and champagnes.Moved to Macau when last heard of?
Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 17, 2020 2:39 PM BST
I just got fed up with having to re=read every sentence Butler posted here about four times to overcome the spelling errors.

I think you had to be blessed with an uncompromising Brummie accent to make any sense of it. Ow bin ya.
Report jumper3 July 17, 2020 2:51 PM BST

Jul 17, 2020 -- 8:23AM, onlooker wrote:

He used to bet 'The Away Meetings' - jumper3

Then it may well have been him. It was the year of Khayhasi's Derby. 1988. I had won a lot of money for what I was used to, on the first that day. It was the Woodcote. A horse called Snow Surprise. SP was 33/1. Took 20s. Oh dear. A winner's a winner though.

I had another tip, on one of the away meetings but could only find one bookie at Epsom. As far as I was concerned I had my own staking plan which means the bookie had to work out my winnings in his head. He did this while at the same time looking at me as if I was a complete idiot. I never saw him again that day, as I had no need to return to him. The confidence I had about this 4/6 shot at an away meeting, was totally misguided as it lost. Thankfully my betting grew into a more considered and measured activity, the older I became.

Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 17, 2020 3:05 PM BST
Butler/cubone had a long-running feud with Fremantle/freebooter, all the way from their racecourse days in the Midlands. Like all regular racegoers of the time, Fremantle was unhappy about the thieving odds Butler fleeced the public with on the aways, while Butler himself didn't feel that that was anyone's business but his own.

It came to a head one frozen afternoon at Worcester. As it was the only remaining domestic meeting, Butler was left with no aways to bet on. So, in order to help him out, Fremantle went and stood next to Butler's empty joint and bellowed, "'Oory oop! They're goin' be'oind at Tooorfontaaaaaaaaaayne!" At which point Butler came the closest I've ever seen to a human being spontaneously combusting.

The brilliant thing was the way Butler continued the vendetta on here years afterwards, regularly reminding us how he might have "born in the gutter", but would always be considerably classier than you.
Report flapper July 17, 2020 3:16 PM BST
Ocean Finance
Report onlooker July 17, 2020 3:17 PM BST
Which character did he audition for in Peaky Blinders.  Happy
Report Early Morning Riser July 17, 2020 9:12 PM BST
Those were the days on here, some good guys have come and gone. I remember a few of the users of the racing forum would go over too chit chat after racing had finished just to wind them up over there, many times we left there gone 1am.
Report glentoby July 17, 2020 10:29 PM BST
Such a contrived load of bollox about the "Early Days" eg the "Good Old Days".The fact is it was like a playground for so called "Professionals" to try and outdo each other.As Ryanwe once said "It is like a playground full of ten year old kids trying to outswear each other"

The Forum was progressing and evolving extremely well until the Racing Post took exception and particularly Mary Millington started to complain about the freedom of speech and honest opinion affecting his bottom line and advertisers?

One of their biggest,one of the biggest CONS in the history of "Journalism" allowed a free reign on the Forum because of the spend and Mary's influence on the policing by so called "Management" of the Forum?

Name the guilty if you dare but do not worry about retribution,the evidence is CAST IRON!!!!WinkWink
Report Tiger Tiger July 17, 2020 10:36 PM BST
Well then you should have left as well ydc.
Report chavman July 17, 2020 10:40 PM BST
All cotton wool fairytale nostalgia.

All the decent stuff went with the restricted entry and subsequent banning.
Report glentoby July 17, 2020 10:41 PM BST
That is where things changed Tiger,Keyboard warriors with massive personal issues crept in and had to have multiple user names?LaughLaughWinkWink
Report glentoby July 17, 2020 10:42 PM BST
Well said Chav,hit the nail on the head.CoolCool
Report chavman July 17, 2020 10:44 PM BST
No one can say f all for fear of offending someone and that is why litigation proceedings are ongoing forcing the suspension of chit chat
Report Tiger Tiger July 17, 2020 10:47 PM BST
Most of those banned were banned for good reason?
Report chavman July 17, 2020 10:49 PM BST
As for the article..let’s not live in the past when the parameters and culture were somewhat different to now please.
Report glentoby July 17, 2020 10:49 PM BST
How many were YOU?  No point lying btw!!!
Report Tiger Tiger July 17, 2020 10:55 PM BST
How many were you Laugh
Report glentoby July 17, 2020 11:03 PM BST
NONE that were not made obvious and solely for exposing frauds!!!! And only one banned btw and down to the Racing Post who objected to £100K losses that were alleged my allegations would cost them.Mary Millington did not not fancy a Court Appearance but never actually retracted his/her accusation of "Picking on my paper"LaughLaugh
Report Tiger Tiger July 17, 2020 11:05 PM BST
Mary Millington Laugh so you were a porn dwarf then?
Report chavman July 17, 2020 11:48 PM BST
You could offer to meet people in car parks for a tear up back how can you compare that to now
Report chavman July 17, 2020 11:50 PM BST
Rose tinted glasses by people who obviously still read but don’t contribute
Report chavman July 17, 2020 11:53 PM BST
I’ve read a lot of those old threads and they were pretty dire
Report Platinum July 17, 2020 11:55 PM BST
Years ago at this hour of night the discussion was about the next days rscing, backing or laying. It was normally a fruitful discussion but the forum has been taken over by the 'I know everything' brigade, who offer nothing but promise everything.
Report leif July 18, 2020 12:08 AM BST
Could well be a discussion on a future Fred Platinum. Where will the future exchange players direct their attention?
Report hello :-) July 18, 2020 12:11 AM BST
i remember them nites platinum , quite colourful i recall

great period for this forum that , font of knowledge and a semi decent post easily hit 300 replies in no time , mostly insults tbh Laugh

personally i think there was a massiv drop out same time the format first changed didnt recover after , may be wrong tho
Report Platinum July 18, 2020 12:15 AM BST
The 'abuse' in those days was more welcome, in that everyone knew that the 'abuse' was just the same as  of lads have a chat in the pub..........
Report Platinum July 18, 2020 12:17 AM BST
Or, on some cases, after the pubs had shut!...........
Report hello :-) July 18, 2020 12:19 AM BST
Report peckerdunne July 18, 2020 12:34 AM BST
In those days there was a market when you woke up,before 10 am.
Report xmoneyx July 18, 2020 1:24 AM BST
sedgefield racecourse will always be in my memory

punter came home to find boss up his wifes backside

a brilliant write up follows Wink
Report the old nanny ;-) July 18, 2020 2:31 AM BST
Forums were different class , the banter and people ripping each other was Different , some threads were classic comedy ......

Dog Forum

poker forum

Were also brilliant

The demise of the Poker forum was unreal Plain
Report chavman July 18, 2020 7:23 AM BST
Obviously nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be if you like a good moan about everything and are generally a miserable bastid
Report MJK July 18, 2020 9:26 AM BST
Seems some of the contributors in that piece assume they're above us mere mortals when it comes to punting. Honestly, does anyone on the forum not think they would punt just as successfully as the likes of Williams?
Report G Hall July 18, 2020 10:32 AM BST
Good point MJK when you think about it, every betting shop in the country had a Matt Williams and Derek McGovern type character in it.
Report acey deucy July 18, 2020 11:48 AM BST
The Betfair Forum is still the best....Every single one of the so called experts looks at The Forum most Days.Still some great judges on here including me.Cool
Report DIK DASTARDLY July 18, 2020 12:33 PM BST
Remember the days of the TEABAGHEAD monster threads ?  I never knew if it was genuine punter suffering or a gigantic wind up . TEABAGHEAD was always trying to turn £1,000 ( which was normally that months mortgage money ) into £10,000 in three easy steps
Report 1st time poster July 18, 2020 1:25 PM BST
best line on forum still survives today
best regards ronnie [rails] Laugh,

my forum favs have been the
heads and tails value post Laugh
the irish non result payout
acapella borgouis  arkle like performance aka kevin blake
and the acey posts and for those still non believers out there ,i,m not and never have been acey
honourable mention to mfraudy for all his pricewise shoe leather and scurrying up and town the high street Laugh,

and the uk is a safer place thanks to the chit chat detective agency Laugh,
Report 1st time poster July 18, 2020 1:37 PM BST
adege,wasnot and co always entertaining in their posts about the perils of trying to make a living down in the jungle
Report duffy July 18, 2020 1:49 PM BST
Trainbairn should have got a mention, best tipster the forum has seen IMO.
Report duffy July 18, 2020 1:50 PM BST
Atavus another good one.
Report 1st time poster July 18, 2020 1:51 PM BST
before mon mone blew all the stats grahem mordin national stats thread was always a good read with good results year after year
Report the old nanny ;-) July 18, 2020 1:54 PM BST
"Moneytree" Had to betting his lay selections

And we had the classic

" Get your whole bank on Phil Taylor " Laugh

Cant remember the poster
Report Takethepaintoftherails July 18, 2020 1:55 PM BST
ben kieth had a few choice words to say about it
Report the old nanny ;-) July 18, 2020 2:02 PM BST
The Tennis thread where the Score Board was wrong  ,They were betting on a Live scoreboard Laugh Absolute classic
Report sparrow July 18, 2020 2:04 PM BST
Was it "kohaku" or something similar who used to analyse the Hunter Chases?
Report duffy July 18, 2020 2:07 PM BST
The old lay a day comp that Keefter and Kosh ran was great, you'd have 50 odd people some weeks entering that.
Report pablo-fanque July 18, 2020 2:24 PM BST

my favourite reply is by elise on this thread , but basically it goes like this :

Person that threw newspaper at runners

wants nicking

Oldgit1  • June 7, 2014 6:47 PM BST 

In the Good Old Bad Old Days those wanting a race stopped at Wimbledon if the gamble was going down had a guy standing at the final bend with a cat concealed under his coat. The cat creates a doggy frenzy when thrown in front of them and race void.
It happened at Watford as well and obviously originated at Catford.
Two men were jailed for four
months each after throwing a cat
onto a track during a race.
John Tracey and Thomas Malone had heavily backed their dog in a race at Watford. But it had hit the fence at the first bend.
As the dogs were coming around the last bend the cat was
thrown in front of the leading dog. He hesitated and the race was
declared void. The cat was unharmed.

elise  • June 7, 2014 6:51 PM BST

bigmart tried a similar thing at hall green when he threw lettuce for the hare

FFS still makes me laugh 6 years later
Report howard July 18, 2020 2:30 PM BST
Acey is right. Bigger percentage of winners on the forum these days. Losers have moved on. Can't stand reading other people's wins.
Report duffy July 18, 2020 2:45 PM BST
That is a cracker pabLaughLaugh
Report STATSMAN July 18, 2020 2:59 PM BST
the old nanny ;-), "TheRebelBillionaire" was the name on that thread
Report Llamedos July 18, 2020 2:59 PM BST
The numerous threads by Adonis always intrigued me, he clearly had mental issues, I do hope he is alright. Bit of a long shot but does anybody remember the hilarious post by some guy describing the life of being a Betfairian, probably about 15 years ago and may have been just before Christmas, about how he was creeping down in his pajamas in the middle of the night to see how his bets where getting on, being nervously on edge all the time.
Report STATSMAN July 18, 2020 3:02 PM BST
This one Llamedos?

The first time I logged onto the Betfair forum was just over three years ago. At the time it seemed like a perfectly innocent thing to do, after all, what possible harm could come from exchanging a few pleasantries with my fellow horse racing enthusiasts? Or opening up a thread and being able to discover in an instant what everybody?s top 10 favourite breakfast cereals were? No harm whatsoever as far as I could see. Yet here I am today sitting naked at my computer. Bald and 76lbs overweight. Anti-depressants in one hand, mouse in the other, Frantically clicking the refresh button to see if anyone has replied to this thread. My children are threatening to report me to Childline, after they discovered that due to my ever-increasing gambling debts, they would once again be enjoying a make believe Christmas this year. My wife has just walked out on me after forcing me to choose between her and the forum, and I have to ask myself, maybe it wasn?t so harmless after all?

It was only two days after joining Betfair that I first clicked on the link. I remember it was a Saturday afternoon. I had just watched the first 6 races of the day and there was a 45-minute gap until the next start. So with nothing else better to do, apart from listen to the inane, squeaky voiced ramblings of Willie Carson as he walked up and down the course with his big pointy stick. I thought to my self, why not?

As far as I could tell, by simply entering the forum, I had accidentally stumbled upon the secret meeting place of the most knowledgeable horse racing experts in Britain. A place where professional gamblers, tipsters and blacksmiths, would gather together to exchange genuine insider information, and threaten to beat each other up. Every other thread appeared to be a gateway to riches. With confident declarations of ?WHEELBARROW JOB? and ?LUMP ON THIS?, I knew I had made the discovery of a lifetime. No more would I spend my days trying to decipher a formbook that may as well have been written in Braille, no more would I spend my days lost in the gambling wilderness. The Betfair forum had become my Tom Tom. At last, I was finally on the road to success.

The very first thread I read that afternoon was entitled ?MAXIMUM 5 STAR BET OF THE DAY?. Apparently, according to the writers? information. The horse had been burning up the gallops at home, and even though it was badly handicapped, the jockey was a woman! The poster was still absolutely convinced the horse would walk it. The poster was right. As soon as the stalls opened, the rest of the field sprinted down the straight as though being pursued by a polish butcher with a meat cleaver. While the horse I had backed, popped on his sunglasses, tilted his headgear to a racy angle, and proceeded to stroll casually for home without a care in the world. Even stopping occasionally to neigh at the crowd, before eventually trailing in a well beaten last.

It was at this point, as I wiped away the remains of the half eaten pot noodle I had just hurled at my laptop, that I made my second discovery of the afternoon. In the time it had taken the losing owner and trainer to go and collect their winnings, a total of 14 threads had suddenly appeared on the forum, declaring the startling news that ITS ALL**!!!? Now while I had always suspected that the sport of kings wasn?t entirely honest. To suddenly discover it was less straight than George Michael, taking a midnight stroll on the common, came as something of a shock.
However it was already too late. The next race was about to begin and a further 8 separate tips had already been posted. A quick look at Tim UK`s how much have you won, thread. Confirmed my belief that the pockets of every other forumite were literally bursting at the seams. Therefore I knew, that the only way to recover my losses was to deposit more funds and let the chase begin.

I was wrong! By the end of the day I had backed and layed a total of 98 horses and completely done my knackers!
I will never forget the feeling of staring breathlessly into space; body bathed in sweat, overwhelmed with a sense of guilt, my heart pounding so hard I could feel it pulsing in my ears. It was a feeling I had experienced many times before. Only this time, it wasn?t because I had just spent the afternoon downloading midget porn.

So the journey had begun. Day after day, week after week. The unbelievable highs as those elusive winners powered their way to victory. The despairing lows, as the forum continued to crash after yet another upgrade.
However it wasn?t just the inept standard of tipstering I had become addicted to. It was the Betfair community itself. Suddenly I would find myself logging on first thing in the morning, simply to discover whether Infomaniac had been for a dump yet! Or last thing at night, just to reassure myself that Limerick Mick and his horse, had arrived home safely from yet another days globetrotting.

Gradually, over the months that followed, and as my funds continued to dwindle, I slowly began to change. At first it was barely noticeable. For instance, instead of saying hello as I met up with friends and relations, I would find myself making a huge smiley face to indicate I was pleased to see them. Or upon hearing an amusing anecdote I would no longer laugh, I would simply utter the word LOL. Or if it were particularly amusing, I would tell them it was so funny my arse had fallen off. Also, as the forum insecurities began to take hold, my online paranoia began to manifest itself into my home life. Such as the times my parents came to visit and began boasting about how successful my brothers had become, Instead of just shrugging my shoulders, I would immediately accuse them of ramping their selections, brandish the yellow card and ban them from the house for a month.
Or the day I had a minor disagreement with my neighbour. After he discovered I was responsible for spreading the rumours, that his nubile teenage daughter was actually a middle-aged truck driver called Bob. Who was merely pretending to be a girl, so desperate men like myself would lavish him with attention, and sign up to his website! Whereas previously I would have entered into a calm and rational debate with the man, whilst hoping to persuade him that my point of view was the correct one, and to kindly release his grip on my testicles. Instead i began shouting that he was a MUG and a MUPPIT, before arranging to meet him in a nearby pub car park, where I intended to beat him to within an inch of his worthless life.
Once out of hospital, and as my debts, and online habit continued to grow. So did the concerns of my family. Who despite my insistence there was nothing to worry about. Often went to unbelievable lengths to tempt me away from the forum. The first such occurrence was during the late summer. I remember the speakers had broken down on my computer, and as my radio was in the next room, I had spent most of the day tapping my feet, while reading a selection of lyrics that had been posted on chitchat. I had just begun to read the second verse of ?I?m too sexy? by ?Right Said Fred? when there came a timid knock at the door. Even as I write this, I can still picture the tear stained faces of my wife and children, as they gently took my hands, and told me our beloved cat had died. However later that night, as I tapped away at my keyboard, while listening to the sounds of my 5 year old son digging a ?Tiddles? shaped grave in the garden. I couldn?t help thinking how suspicious it was. That a cat that had been in excellent health for over 21 years, would suddenly pass away as the Big Brother final was about to begin. I tried to reassure them that if Nikki were to win I would buy them an even better cat, but they wouldn?t listen.
Or the time during early December, when my young son and daughter ran excitedly into my study, and asked if I would take them into town to see Santa Claus. Once again I suspected it was a ruse. After all, what self-respecting person still believes in a flamboyant, rosy-cheeked, fat faced old man? Who does very little, apart from cost people money, sit on his backside, and eat copious amounts of pies for most of the year? Nobody apart from channel 4 and Mrs McCririck! I tried to explain to them that daddy was busy, and that unless my purple loan was approved, or Paul Eddery, managed to ride the winner in the first race at Wolverhampton, then there wouldn?t be any presents! And the only people who would be visiting our house on Christmas Eve were the bailiffs! But again they refused to understand. Deciding instead to burst into tears, before running away shouting ?MUMMY?.

Things finally came to a head just a few days ago, on the evening of my wifes birthday. As I had been fairly busy on the forum that night, monitoring a pair of particularly interesting threads entitled, ?who is your favourite Cheeky Girl?? and ?which hand do you use to wipe your ar$e with?? I decided to send a text to my wife asking her if she would care to come upstairs and take a look at the e card I had just mailed her. I was just about to press send, when there she was, naked and smiling at me from the hallway.
In many ways my wife is a wonderful woman. A 31-year-old, former Filipino bargirl who travelled to England just over 10 years ago, with dreams of becoming a waitress. The first time we met was during a friend?s stag party. As soon as I saw her walk onto the stage, carrying a bottle of lubricant, and begin firing a succession of ping-pong balls haphazardly across the room, I knew she was the girl for me. Two months later we were married, and now here she was, naked, carrying a racket, and begging me to take her to bed. It was only 3am, but as it was her birthday I felt I really couldn?t refuse.

5 minutes later as I lay breathless, and my wifes rabbit continued the job I had begun, all I could think about was the forum. And how many posts I had missed in the time I was away. I told my wife I was going to get a drink of water, but even as I grabbed my laptop and crept ashamedly down the stairs and through the back door, I was certain she suspected the truth.
That?s when it happened. I had just finished typing that my chosen method was to stand up, lean completely forward, and use a reverse, double-handed sweeping technique, when suddenly the light was turned on and my wife started to scream.
I can only imagine how it must have looked, to open the shed door in the middle of the night, and discover your husband sitting precariously on the edge of the lawnmower in his undercrackers, explaining to a group of strangers how he prefers to wipe his ar$e.
I tried to tell her that it wasn?t how it seemed, and that rather than being on the forum, I was simply ordering a turkey from tesco`s and looking at some porn, but the damage had already been done, and despite my protestations and pleas for forgiveness, the very next morning she had packed my belongings and was gone, taking the children and the new cat with her.

It is for this reason that I have decided to cancel my Internet connection and leave the forum forever. You may think this a touch extreme, but I urge you to heed this warning. As you sit down with your families this Christmas, and suddenly feel the urge to log onto Betfair, just to see who?s online, or what everyone has just had for dinner! Please. I beg you not to, it just isn?t worth it.

Although on second thoughts, who the hell am I kidding? See you all tomorrow.[/i]
Report 1st time poster July 18, 2020 3:03 PM BST
ronnie rails might remember ,someone through a stuffed turkey toy on to the track at cleveland park one night at a xmas meeting years ago to avoid a race
Report Llamedos July 18, 2020 3:08 PM BST
Statesman, that's the one, brilliant, thanks for that.
Report STATSMAN July 18, 2020 3:09 PM BST
No problem
Report hunt lunt and cunningham July 18, 2020 3:29 PM BST
Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 18, 2020 3:49 PM BST
Do wah Diddy22 Nov 10 18:45Joined: 24 Jul 06 | Topic/replies: 41,697 | Blogger: Do wah Diddy's blog

Report the old nanny ;-) July 18, 2020 3:57 PM BST
Thanks STAT Happy And for bringing back the other classic
Report workrider July 18, 2020 4:29 PM BST
Classic is right...Laugh brilliant .
Report sparrow July 18, 2020 5:20 PM BST
"As far as I could tell, by simply entering the forum, I had accidentally stumbled upon the secret meeting place of the most knowledgeable horse racing experts in Britain. A place where professional gamblers, tipsters and blacksmiths, would gather together to exchange genuine insider information, and threaten to beat each other up. Every other thread appeared to be a gateway to riches"

Report 1st time poster July 18, 2020 5:42 PM BST
the BLACKSMITH, jack berry,s blacksmith allegedly showed bill gates the way round a computer in between re- shoeing and laying horses LaughLaugh
Report mrcombustible July 18, 2020 9:38 PM BST

Report halcyon days July 18, 2020 10:28 PM BST
Years ago, Warwick, iron, stevealan, limerick mick, Nightshiftman, b & h, deepthroat , Lone, mesell..

the fun was unbelievable..... too many wannabe's now... Sad really...
Report halcyon days July 18, 2020 10:29 PM BST
And, cubone's threads were always interesting !
Report onlooker July 18, 2020 10:31 PM BST
^ If you read them with SUBTITLES Switched On.
Report GLASGOWCALLING July 18, 2020 10:32 PM BST
Anyone know if Charnier ( Alain ) is still with us ?? I used to like his banter. Happy
Report Willie Shafter. July 19, 2020 12:18 AM BST
glassie..pp king?
Report onlooker July 19, 2020 12:23 AM BST
a lot of posters are somebody else - warwick - er, sorry, roida.
Report duffy July 19, 2020 12:26 AM BST
Always thought that it should have been roidi, then it would have been an anagram of I DO IR Grin
Report driver2 July 19, 2020 5:02 AM BST
bigmart tried a similar thing at hall green when he threw lettuce for the hare

Had me in stitches Pablo
Report GLASGOWCALLING July 19, 2020 8:46 AM BST
Yes, I know he had multiple user names, just wondered why he stopped posting.
Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 19, 2020 9:49 AM BST
The only time my path crossed with ppking was one Sunday afternoon back in November 2015, when I was sitting in Wandsworth Park with Fremantle and his wife. Fremantle's phone suddenly had an excited text from ppking listing the horses the latter had running for him in the last leg of the Huntingdon Jackpot, with his as the only tickets left. Inevitably the list somehow managed to omit the winner, which had only been beaten 51 lengths over C&D a fortnight earlier.

Aceform would have enjoyed that one.
Report Willie Shafter. July 19, 2020 10:17 AM BST
ppking was from teeside.
Report loper July 19, 2020 1:36 PM BST
ppking was a gentleman and good company, particularly in the pub.
Report GLASGOWCALLING July 19, 2020 1:50 PM BST
Was ??  Is he dead Loper. ??
Report onlooker July 19, 2020 2:09 PM BST
Always wondered - in fact suspected - that ppking was also Alain Charnier.
Report loper July 19, 2020 2:18 PM BST
Unfortunately Ppking hasn't been in touch for some time. He was feeling somewhat disillusioned with the way that the betting world was regressing and needed a break.

He was in good health the last time we were in contact.
Report GLASGOWCALLING July 19, 2020 2:22 PM BST
Thanks Loper. Happy
Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 19, 2020 2:39 PM BST
I loved it when ppking was trying to conduct a conversation involving multiple accounts, and suddenly aceform would be posting as BIGNOSEDAVE about his BOTE IN MARBELLA instead of his tanker lorry at Grangemouth.
Report chavman July 19, 2020 2:57 PM BST
living in the past......load of pony
Report screaming from beneaththewaves July 19, 2020 3:04 PM BST
Tomorrow's almost over, today went by so fast
It's the only thing to look forward to, the past
Report Willie Shafter. July 19, 2020 3:08 PM BST
No 18 next race craig Happy
Report loper July 22, 2020 4:06 PM BST
Amongst all the memories posted on here I was astonished to find no reference to the outstandingly entertaining correspondance between bacchanal and his dear friend and co conspirator minnow.

Tales that P G Woodhouse would have been proud to have penned.

Does anyone remember their private subscription horseracing advisory service to the gentry? Turpin & Crook.
Report onlooker July 22, 2020 5:46 PM BST
'private subscription horseracing advisory service to the gentry'

- Turpin & Crook.

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