They say all good things must come to an end.
No-one ever seems to mention the bad things but presumably they absolutely must come to an end, too. In fact probably more so. Which raises the question about why some bad things don't come to an end and, of course, good things do. Anyway, this is the end for the Tenner Bet and it is with a heavy heart that I prepare to bid you farewell.
But before the valedictories begin, a reflection: there have been dalliances with all kinds of snake oil systems, an unhealthy obsession with French football (twice) and a year spent betting intermittently on Formula One grands prix. The last at least yielded consecutive returns in five races before the mechanics ripped the engines apart and tossed them into a crowd of Bahraini protestors. Honestly, the length that some bookmakers will go to to safeguard themselves against losses.
Yes, this column has been the fluff in Hugh MacDonald's belly button for the past six years but it has also been in profit on four occasions. Particular winners that stand out are Floyd Mayweather's 10th-round stoppage against Ricky Hatton in the MGM Grand in 2007. From memory a rounds 9-11 win for the American paid 12/1, the same price as Red Bull's Mark Webster when he won the British Grand Prix in 2012, while Pineau Du Re's 25/1 victory in the Grand National a couple of weeks back was particularly pleasing.
However, the one sting that produced the greatest satisfaction was Ernie Els winning the Open two years ago for a £300 payout that turned a hitherto losing season into the most profitable of my time in situ. Fear not, though, there will still be a selection next week and one after that and yet more. The Tenner Bet is moving to a new home and from next Friday can be found at thetennerbet.wordpress.com for the foreseeable future and so, despite the apparent futility of making a selection on these pages this week, you're getting one anyway . . .
Apparently someone called David Moyes was sacked by Manchester United during the week. The Tenner Bet didn't notice since he was too busy rocking himself backwards and forwards, fully clothed in a shower following the Irish Grand National. "Shuttheeffinfrontdoor," I shouted to Mrs Tenner Bet as Jonjo O'Neill's horse crossed the line. "It'seffinclosed," came the reply. "Eh?" I countered. "Theeffinfrontdoorisclosed," she screamed by which point Wee Fiver was running all his words together, too. "StopshoutingI'mtryingtofindahorseinthisfieldthathasn'tbeenspelledincorrectlyorisn'tallruntogether," he wailed.
That did the trick, we looked at each other, laughed at our silliness and gave Wee Fiver a cuddle. "It's okay, we'll still survive now the Tenner Bet has to sign on the dole every week," I reassured him. "You mean I won't have to keep picking out bets?" he asked enthusiastically. "Erm, well maybe just for this week," I added.
To which he said: "Okay, lump on Chelsea. Mourinho's bluffing, he won't stick out a reserve side. There's no way he just gives up on trophies and I don't think Liverpool know how to play for a draw. . ." He might just be on to something.
Chelsea to beat Liverpool is 4/1 with Ladbrokes who are offering money back if the match ends in a draw. Liverpool like to counter, Chelsea like to sit in. Expect another bus-shaped formation from Mourinho.
One non-runner last weekend meant the total liability was £20 and that leaves profits for the Tenner Bet at £31.72. Bye for now . . .