All-Ireland Hurling Championship

The All-Ireland Hurling Championship is Ireland’s highest level hurling championship. One of the two major sports leagues organised by the Gaelic Athletic Association, the All-Ireland Hurling Championship is amongst the most popular sports leagues in Ireland, and the All-Ireland Hurling Final is one of the most keenly anticipated events on Ireland’s sporting calendar.

The first part of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship is contested at a provincial level in Munster and Leinster to determine which counties from these provinces will advance directly to the semifinals. Several qualifying stages are then played to determine the other two teams for the semifinals, which are then followed by the All-Ireland Hurling Championship final at Croke Park.

All-Ireland Hurling Championship Betting

The All-Ireland Hurling Championship attracts strong interest in Ireland, with the sport boasting a history of betting that dates back to antiquity. The All-Ireland Hurling Championship is extensively covered by Ireland-based bookmakers Paddy Power and Boylesports, whilst UK bookmakers offer a more limited selection of All-Ireland Hurling Championship betting markets.

The fact that a wide variety of UK bookmakers offer odds on the outright winner of the All-Ireland Hurling Championship means that smart bets on this sports league are best made by using a quality odds comparison service.

All-Ireland Hurling Championship History

The sport of hurling is thought to be one of the most ancient sports in Europe that is still played today. The modern era of hurling commenced in 1884, when the Gaelic Athletic Association made the decision to codify the rules of the sport, and to establish a formal league system for the sport.

The inaugural All-Ireland Hurling Championship was played in 1887, and featured just 5 teams. However, the sport rapidly grew in popularity and the GAA was soon required to organise provincial championships, to determine which counties would compete in the nationwide All-Ireland Hurling Championship.

The popularity of the sport was mostly concentrated in the provinces of Leinster and Munster, and this soon created problems, as these two counties were disproportionately represented in the latter stages of the tournament. To rectify this situation the GAA recently introduced the somewhat complex qualification system used today, whereby certain counties gain automatic qualification for the final stages of the tournament whilst others must compete in regional qualifiers.

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There have been some exciting developments in the online betting industry. It’s great to see more innovation coming to betting tapping into the tremendous market opportunity. Even though it’s worth an estimated $20 billion (and growing), most of the big online bookmakers offer the same boring products with no web 2.0 features that internet users have come to expect. The top three online betting companies are Betfair, Ladbrokes and William Hill.

Betable went live today with their pool betting product. Congratulations to the Betable team for launching! Betable has been under development in San Francisco for a year or so. Recently some of the team moved to London. It’s great to see other startups launching in the space. For those unfamiliar with pools, bettors put their money in a pot and the winners split the pot after commission (usually 10-20%). Pools have the advantage that participants don’t have consider the odds – the odds are computed after the betting has ended.

Pikum made waves when it launched a similar pool betting product two years ago. Pikum offered betting on football markets, but didn’t let participants create markets as you can on Betable. It ran out of money before it was able to gain any traction in the marketplace and folded a little less than a year after launching.

Bragster (formerly launched as Gottabet in 2008) aimed at mate to mate bets that users could create themselves. “I bet you £20 you can’t eat all the donuts”. They weren’t able to gain significant traction in bespoke bets, so they rebranded as Bragster to a social network centred around bragging rights. Not just a clever name! They were acquired last month by the Guinness Book of World Records.

Boolabus has taken an agency model and offer the big bookmakers (e.g. Ladbrokes) cool software that they can plug into their websites . Their focus has been largely what’s known as “in-play” betting – betting after the match has started. Even though the odds update in semi-real time, bookmakers still add quite a large profit market to their odds so the punter doesn’t get good value. The punter doesn’t have the option to lay a bet either.

Betfair pioneered the concept of betting marketplaces a decade ago. They have been building up their US presence after making the purchase of TVG, a horse racing TV network. Betfair is a fantastic product for the professional bettor, offering the best liquidity in the marketplace, but it has a high learning curve for the casual punter. Like the other major bookmakers, Betfair has almost no social features to speak of (although Betfair has a forum).

Smarkets is innovating betting marketplaces by bringing the power of exchanges to a wider audience. We’re creating a simpler user experience with a social layer. On Smarkets, the price of a bet changes in real-time. This type of market dynamic is perfect for live events. For example, betting on the cycling race where a crash could wipe out half the field or an election where a news story could decimate a candidates chances, Smarkets works very well. Also, Smarkets allows to participants to buy or sell an event at anytime up until the event has concluded.

We have a host of social betting features that we’ll be launching shortly. Our next major release includes the UK election markets. We’ve been hard at work at Smarkets for almost 3 years building a scalable and reliable technical architecture.

It’s great to see innovation coming to betting. Pikum and Gottabet failed, but the new crop of betting startups Smarkets, Boolabus and Betable are forging ahead in this massive industry begging for new blood.

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In our previous article, ‘Stay Single’, we touched briefly on the practice of backing two or more horses in the same race, otherwise known as ‘dutching’, but, in response to enquiries from our readers, we thought the time was right for a slightly more thorough examination of the subject. As we said in our previous article, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with dutching, but you need to understand that increasing your ‘coverage’ does not, necessarily, increase your profits.

Proponents of dutching argue, justifiably, that the proportion of horse races in which they can identify just one runner with an outstanding winning chance is relatively small, so backing more than one runner allows them to become involved in more races. However, coverage alone is not a basis for a profitable betting strategy. Dutching, by definition, greatly reduces the overall odds on offer so, even if you increase your strike rate, you could still end up losing money if your selections aren’t good value in the first place.

Horse races with a single, outstanding selection are relatively few.

Dutching may or may not produce fewer losing bets than backing single selections but, provided your selection process is sound, should produce few losing races overall. Long losing runs can be damaging, psychologically, even for the experienced punter, not to mention their effect on the betting bank so, depending on your attitude to risk, dutching may appeal to you. If it does, you may be lulled into a false sense of security, but remember that dutching comes with no guarantees and can quickly consume your betting bank if you bet indiscriminately.

One situation in which dutching may be a safer approach than backing a single selection is in a race in which you can identify two runners with an equally strong winning chance, or one with a strong winning chance and another that appears to be the only conceivable danger. In this case, dutching the two runners (or, at least, backing one and having a ‘saver’ on the other) can save you from the ignominy of being on the ‘wrong’ one.

Mathematically, and logically, it makes no sense to back an even money favourite to the same stake as, say, a 3/1 chance and a 5/1 chance in the same race. Instead, vary your stake according to the percentage chance of each horse winning the race. To work out the percentage chance of each horse, divide 1 by its decimal odds and multiply by 100. For our hypothetical even money, 3/1 and 5/1 chances, the percentage chances are 1/2 x 100 = 50%, 1/4 x 100 = 25% and 1/6 x 100 = 16.67% respectively, so instead of placing 1 point level stakes on each, place proportional stakes of 1.64 points, 0.82 points and 0.54 points to provide almost the same return whichever one of them, if any, wins.

If you need help with your dutching calculations, Oddschecker offers an online dutching calculator, which you can find here.

We hope you enjoyed ‘The Minimalist Guide to Dutching’ and we will be back soon with another advanced betting guide.

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