Poll of The Week

It’s transfer deadline day  – the greatest day in the world – again!

And you know what that means – Sky Sports news readers getting unduly frantic, loads of people stood outside football grounds doing absolutely nothing and Harry Redknapp spewing a torrent of really reliable information out of his car window.

So much for death and taxes being the only certainties in life!

I just spotted that there is a betting market on this deadline day. It’s great! Bookies are actually pricing up which club will sign the most players today. ANd Harry’s QPR are 5-1! So I thought I’d make that this week’s question. Drum roll please……this week’s question is:

Who will sign the most players this transfer deadline day (1st September 2014)?

I think you can probably guess who I’ve bet on. Then again Man Utd are so desperate to get Champions League football they will pay seriously daft money for players in large quantities. Just look at what they’ve done already! (But I can’t help feeling they are strengthening the wrong end of the team….)

Man Utd

Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

Congratulations to @DarrenTeagii10 for winning last week’s poll.

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Friday’s Caption Competition

Time for another caption competition! But first of all, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:

mkdons40

Watching MOTD recently I saw a scene like this and not long after a mate of mine texted me asking “what are the odds that van Gaal ever listens to a single word that Ryan Giggs says?”

Very large you’d imagine.

Giggsy van Gaal

It intrigues me why people in football do this “hand over mouth” routine when they are talking to their staff. Unless it’s the worst kind of profanities being uttered, or your name is Malky Mackay, I just don’t see why it is necessary. Are they really worried that someone lip reading on TV will untangle their conversation, suss out a way to benefit tactically from this, get word to the opposing coach, who let’s face it is just sitting on a bench watching and whose capability to influence is really not that great? Or are they just muttering the darkest kind of abuse to one another? Submit your caption on Facebook for your chance to win a token to my bounty tourney next week.

Congratulations to Belinda Hubbard (a.k.a “BeeBitch”) for winning our previous competition with “hand happy toke too!”

Vincent Tan

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Double Bubble !

I’ve just heard of a new blueprint for prize money structures in poker tournaments and I think it’s a great idea. I really hope it catches on.  In the 2015 PCA schedule to be held in the Carribean there are two tournaments on the schedule which will have this new “Double Bubble” format.

Although an exciting development I have one slight tinge of regret. I suspect if every tournament I’d ever played was “Double Bubble” I’d have done a good deal better over the years. And if you’re one of those players who successfully navigates the early stages of tournaments but gets knocked out before the money too often then you might feel the same way.

“Double Bubble” prize money basically works like this: the top half the field have their entrance fee returned once they have eliminated 50% of players and then they play as normal for the remaining cash.

So say 200 people enter a tournament for $1000, making a prize pool of $200k. Usually the top 20 would get paid and 1st place would get around $50k, or 25% of the cash. But in the Double Bubble format when 100 players remain they would all get paid their original $1000 back. At least half the field do not lose. After this they would play to a finish with the remaining $100k split among the last 20 survivors in the usual percentages.

Of course the half way stage payout means you reduce the total prize money by 50%, so in this case the player who wins the whole thing would get around $25k instead of the usual $50k that he’d have won for 1st place (not forgetting his $1000 back of course).

I suppose the people who might not like this format are the high rollers and the very best players that are used to making final tables and hitting huge payouts (that’s me excluded :) )

In fact anyone who makes the money will wish that the structure took the old format, but that’s just being wise after the event. If you sit down to play a double bubble you know the rules up front and you’ve no complaints.

I really like the fact that half the field lose nothing instead of the usual 90%. The more players who get paid the more happy players you have. They’ll stay in action longer and go broke less quickly.

If this takes off online I can see myself playing a lot more tournaments. Thinking about it, the reason I play so few tournaments online today is probably precisely because of the way the prize money is structured. There’s just too much variance and if you play a lot then variance is the thing you want to reduce.

It’s a common story – you play for 3-4 hours and end up cashing in, say, the top 20%, winning exacly nothing. It’s particularly frustrating when you spend hours reaching this stage. After all, as we all know, the first man out of a tournament you get paid as much as the man who gets knocked out on the bubble: zero.

Adjustments have continually been made to the format of poker tournaments.

People have agreed to “chops” in prize money for as long as tournaments have existed. Then around 2011 the concept of “bubble insurance” was born. Bubble insurance was a bit of a misnomer because it isn’t only the bubble boy who gets insured. With bubble insurance you can insure yourself against the outcome that you finished in the 10% after the prize money.

So for example, in a $100 buy in event with 100 runners that paid out places 1-10, you could fork out another $12 and if you finished 11th-20th you would get your $100 back.

I don’t think that proved to be too successful to be honest. I’ve certainly never paid for bubble insurance. The problem with all insurance, be it driving, holiday or life insurance is that you know full well the providers have built in a little profit margin. So poker probably wasn’t the best medium to sell insurance. People who strive for +EV situations all day aren’t natural purchasers of insurance.

But now there’s my already-favourite-despite-only-hearing-about-it-today innovation and I’m hopeful it will take off.

The reason for the name “Double Bubble” is obvious. The game will now have two crucial points, first at the half way mark and then at the usual bubble time. Of course only the first of these will be a genuine “bubble” in the sense of winning zero. The second bubble boy will at least have his entrance fee refunded.

So how might bubble insurance affect strategy?

I’ve got 3 immediate observations. In theory everyone should start playing tighter and look to get into that top 50%. In fact, the introduction of a second bubble at half way could dictate the speed with which the average stack size erodes and it could get become a bit of a crap shoot if it means the second half kicks off with an average stack size of 20 BBs.  But that’s just in theory. I don’t think that would happen. People are creatures of habit and I reckon players who struggle to fold AJs under the gun in a normal game will continue to struggle to fold AJs under the gun in a double bubble format. Some players are obsessed with doubling up early, believing they “need a stack” to have any chance of winning the thing and that probably won’t change. People will still subscribe the first out=bubble=zero point of view we mentioned earlier.

Second, as we know in the usual format, clever players start to get aggressive at the bubble when everyone is playing tighter so there will be a lot of this going on. In theory we should all be more aggressive while everyone is playing tighter, which ought to be from the start in this new format. But if we do that then now we are collectively not playing tighter! So as ever, it pays to see what opponents are actually doing on the day rather than heading in with some pre conceived plan.

Thirdly, in normal tournaments you see a flurry of activity once the bubble bursts. You might not get an elimination for half an hour or even longer in live events, but once that bubble bursts it’s a veritable “ALL IN – CALL” fest with players biting the dust left right and centre. Does the double bubble format mean we will have two periods of madness? I’m not 100% sure it would because stacks might not be as desperate at half way. But if it does it means loosening up and calling a bit lighter could be the order of the day.

I suspect that this format will benefit steadier tighter players and as ever, with even more factors to consider, the more situationally aware (ie good players) will tend to come out on top.

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Poll of The Week

There was controversy last week at Barcelona’s EPT High Roller final table when the two players who made it to heads up were wearing clothing with messages in support of Palestine. Olivier Busquet sported a shirt that said “Save Gaza” on it, while Dan Colman’s shirt said “Free Palestine.”

The sponsors of the tournament – Poker Stars – were not happy about this. They approached the players afterwards to say as much and immediately after the tournament ended they instigated a rule that stated in future there will be no clothing with political slogans permitted whatsoever.

And quel surprise, pro Israeli supporters lined up to denounce Busquets and Colman in a “how dare they question the right of armed-to-the-teeth Israel to bomb Palestinian refugees don’t you know  Hamas are actually happy to have their kids killed by their illegal occupiers and that the moon is made of green cheese” reply.  You know, the usual sort of stuff.

I’ve got a theory why this ban was put in place so quickly and I’m pretty sure the ban wouldn’t have been instigated if the shirts had been messages of support for Israel.  Quite simply, Poker Stars founder is Isai Scheinberg, who is part Israeli.

“Ah, but Poker Stars has now been sold!” you say. “The Scheinerg family no longer control things at Poker Stars”

Well yes technically that’s true. Since the company was sold to the Amaya Gaming group for $4.9 billion in June 2014 the Scheinbergs are technically no longer in charge of Poker Stars.

I suspect the reality is somewhat different. Yes, they sold the company but that was a prelude to a return to a potential return back into the US market. With legalisation on the horizon they want back into the US market one day and there’s no way that would be allowed with the Scheinbergs in charge. (They offered a service to US players up until Black Friday and would fall foul of the “bad actor” clause that previous wrong doers from managing legalised poker operations, if that ever happens on a Federal level).  Does Scheinberg still exert an invisible hand on proceedings at Poker Stars?

This week’s question is: “Should clothing with political messages be allowed in poker tournaments?”

Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

Congratulations to @fiercelyacute for winnig last week’s poll.

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Friday’s Caption Competition

Time for another caption competition! But first of all, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:

bantered

You’ve got to love Vincent Tan. Waits all year for Malky Mackay to become odds on favourite for a job and then releases his stink bomb that blows him and his job prospects clean out the water. I still haven’t read these offensive emails/texts yet but while I was scouring the web to find them I noticed that the League Managers Association had first issued a statement defending Mackay and then apologised for issuing the statement!

Admitting they were wrong to describe the texts which might have “offended other cultures” as “banter”, they dropped a none too subtle clue as to why foreign managers virtually never win the LMA award (ssssh the bookies haven’t cottoned on yet). Here’s a picture of Vincey Boy and Malky Mackay in happier times. Submit your caption on Facebook for your chance to win a token to my bounty tourney next week. (Keep it friendly please!)

Vincent Tan

Congratulations to Lewis Barrett (beanhead24) for winning our last competition with “You’re supposed to light the joint up not your fingers”… 

Nick Clegg

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Hand of The Week – Week 133

How’s your luck?

Not so great if you’re Sven Reichardt, who was on the wrong end of an utterly ridiculous beat in the Barcelona €50k High Roller event this week.

With 9 players left at the final table he found himself all in after raising with pocket Kings. Olivier Busquet made an ill timed bluff and shoved all in over the top with As-2s.  It was an easy call for Reichardt.

He flopped a monster as well:  8-8-K for a full house.  How it is even possible to lose from there?

Well it isn’t easy but he did manage it. He must have been wondering who he’d upset when both the turn and river cards were aces. If I’d been Busquet I’d have probably been walking across the auditorium floor to the exit before the river card was even dealt.

You’ve got to feel for Reichardt. He managed to limp into 6th place and cop €225,000 for his troubles after that beat but the poor lad must be wondering what might have been. Especially after Olivier Busquet made best use of his good fortune and went on to win the event and the €896,000 first prize. Reichardt must feel that the universe owes him €671k.

It’s not the absolutely unluckiest thing that can happen to you in poker (“runner-runner-perfect” is at odds of 1 in 989) but it isn’t far off. And to happen in a 50k event makes it a particularly evil beat.  It’s actually quite easy to work out how unlucky he was – not that you would want to do this if it had happened to you – but seeing as it didn’t happen to us we can. Only 3 cards can save Busquet and with 4 exposed cards (A-2 and KK) and 3 on the flop (8-8-K) that leaves  45 left in the deck. A lucky ace on the turn leaves two aces in the deck of 44 cards that remain. So that’s 3/45 * 2/44, or 6 in 1980.

So it’s 1 in 330. That’s pretty darned unlucky.

To be fair, Reichardt had a fortuitous hand himself, defeating and eliminating an all in player (A-Q) with A-8 before his killer beat. You could argue it was even worse in some senses because the player he put out was eliminated before the money, but I don’t think Reichardt would see it that way.

These hands got me thinking though.

I don’t know about you, but in my experience it seems that these really bad beats happen more in tournaments as opposed to cash games.  I don’t know why it should be, but it seems to me that the cards “behave” more when playing cash games.  It gets so it actually affects my psyche, or more accurately, my confidence, when I am all in preflop. Not that it affects my decision making, but after the decisions are made I actually feel like I can “trust” the deck a bit more when my money is down in a cash game.

Is this an illusion?

The answer has to be most certainly “yes, it is an illusion”. There’s no reason why there would be fewer bad beats in a cash game as compared to tournaments any more so than a captain would lose more cricket tosses than he would tosses before football matches.

It’s a pretty irrational superstition for someone who doesn’t believe in superstition or divine intervention or any of that old nonsense, but I do suffer from this illusion.   If I’m all in during a cash game with KK against QQ I’ll feel very confident the KK will hold up, like I can rely on the cards to behave themselves. Not so in a tournament where I will be utterly convinced I’ll get lagged. If my opponent isn’t drawing dead by the turn I’ll be agitating.

It’s strange. There must be some reason why this is so and I’m sure it isn’t the fact I’ve lost more of these encounters in tournies as opposed to cash games. I’ll bet any money that my KK holds up about 82% of the time vs QQ in both forms of the game given the huge volume I’ve played in my life.  I must just be imagining it.

Yet the impending sense of injustice and doom I feel when my chips are in the middle during a tournament is definitely real. Strange indeed!

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Poll of The Week

When Doyle Brunson miraculously recovered from cancer his luck really did turn. As he tells the story in his book “The Godfather of Poker” he’d been told he was terminally ill and sent home to die in the comfort of his own home. But the cancer somehow disappeared in one of those rare and unexplained cases and he made a complete recovery.

The poker feat he accomplished immediately after recovering was probably just as long a shot as the disappearing cancer itself.  He won his next 53 poker sessions! Fifty three winning sessions on the bounce.  Most people probably can’t even conceive of such an unlikelihood and be chuffed with a run of three or four, no matter what the standard of the game.

Becoming hung on up winning streaks is not to be recommended however. In his brilliant book “Shut Up And Deal” Jesse May tells the story of an acquaintance who treasured winning every day above all else. When he’d a winning day this character loved to chalk it off on his calendar as a win, no matter how small that win was. One day he was in the third or fourth week of the month and he was desperate for a whole month of wins in his calendar. But he started losing one session. In his desperation to get a dollar ahead he got on the chase, upped the stakes….and you know what happened after that. He lost the lot.  Busto.

This week’s question is: what is your longest winning run of poker sessions? Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.


Congratulations to @ironnutzpoker for winning last week’s poll.

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Friday’s Caption Competition

It’s that time of the week for another caption competition. But first of all, the password for the Freddie Mays Bounty tournament at 9pm tonight is:

sackrace

How’s your luck? Having publicly declared Tony Pulis “safe” from the sack on Tuesday he leaves by “mutual consent” on Thursday! Of course he was safe from the sack and left entirely of his own accord but that doesn’t count for much in the “next manager to leave market”, does it?

So my Tony Pulis saga continues.  I’d backed Palace +46 on the Premier League handicap, Palace to come top 10 at 9/2 and I’d also backed them in numerous match bets, the ONLY reason being because they were managed by the mighty Tony Penis.  Jeeeez. Those betting slips are all confetti now and all because Pulis wanted more money for transfers.

If only he knew how selfish he was!  And as for Steve Parish…well there are no words for that badly haircutted buffoon. How can he let the T-Bone leave? If Tony Penis asks for more money for transfers then you just….

Now I’ve got to rely on someone new like Tim Sherwood or Neil Lennon with the added knowledge that Steve Parish is so tight he won’t even fork out for decent toilet roll in the players’ bogs (he makes them use that really rubbish tracing paper, it’s really no wonder Pulis didn’t stay.) Anyway, for this week’s competition here’s a pic of Tony Pulis leaving the ground with his wife:

Tony Penis with wife

Submit your caption on Facebook for your chance to win a token to my bounty tourney next week.

Congratulations to Gary Martin (gazza7375) for winning last week’s competition with : “This is how we roll”

Nick Clegg

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Hand of The Week – Week 132

It’s been a while since I played any live poker but I got myself down to the casino the other week to play a session of the old live stuff. Nothing special – just 3 or 4 hours of low stakes cash with £1-1 blinds and a £200 buy in.  I even finished up ahead for the night although it would be a close battle between my win rate and minimum wage.

Having not played live for ages I’d forgotten one particular delight of the game when played “mano a mano”. I’m talking about the angle shoot and there’s actually nothing “delightful” about it at all.

Angle shooters are the lowest form of scum – well perhaps not lower than the aggravated burglar who uses your bedroom as a toilet, or Max Clifford – but you take my point. I suspect I’ve been spoiled by playing so much online poker where there aren’t people trying to dishonestly have your money off you by acting out of turn or using sleight of hand, but I really resent having to be on guard while I’m playing just because some devious little scrote is trying to con me. Why should I have to be looking over my shoulder all the time? There are enough other things legitimate things to concentrate on without these added nuisances.

The following example of angle shooting didn’t occur at the table I played at.  It didn’t even happen in the casino I was playing in.  The hand was explained to us by the dealer, an experienced guy of about 50 who had just moved to our table, and he’d been playing himself in a different casino while off duty the day before. Must be a sort of busman’s holiday – I guess our man really loves the game.

“Oh, I saw a good one earlier. It was goooood. So slick”

From his tone you’d think he actually admired the play and as you could tell this chap had seen a lot of live poker in his time you had a feeling this was going to be interesting. He’d seen the following situation develop.

The game was £2-5 and two players had got to the river in a £400 pot. We don’t need to know all the action as it only got interesting on the river.

A-K-9-Q-9 were the cards on the board and the first player, let us call him Mr Honest, bet £25

I know a bet of £25 into a £400 pot sounds small but this is the figure the dealer told us and as he’s a professional poker dealer I believe him. Besides people do sometimes make these titchy bets, either as an intended “blocking bet” or because they’re trying to induce a raise.

This is where his opponent, let us call him Mr Angle, made his play.

Mr Angle thought for a while as if he had a decision to make. In front of him were several £25 chips and he played around with these, picking them up and putting them down again.

Having mulled it over, he finally made a decision. He picked up a £25 chip and with a little shrug, he  plonked it down on the table without a word. His body language was the key here. It was an action which made you think it was a “ah, OK then, I suppose I have to” call.

Mr Honest turned over his cards: K-9 for a full house.

To which Mr Angle shot back immediately.

“What are you doing?”

Mr Honest probably wasn’t worried at this point.  He’ll have just wanted to see Mr Angle’s cards to see if his hand was good. “You called my bet and I’m showing you my hand.”

“Oh I didn’t call. I’m raising you”

This was news to Mr Honest but when you looked at the table Mr Angle’s hand had not moved and was covering the “chip” he’d just put down. He lifted his hand up and – shock horror – there were indeed two £25 chips on the table. Somehow he’d picked up two chips not one and no-one had realised. But like it or not, this was a raise, there was action pending and now Mr Honest had shown his cards….as mentioned, with action pending.

Mr Angle got the floor supervisor over and successfully had Mr Honest’s hand killed for exposing his hand with action pending. With his hand dead Mr Honest had nothing to play with and Mr Angle won the pot by default. We’ll never know what he had.

The sneaky bastard had deliberately said nothing when he put his chips in and waited to see if his opponent would expose his hand. Fortunately for the little weasel Mr Honest did just that and allowed him to pull his move.

Obviously he couldn’t beat K-9. If he could have then he’d have simply shown his winner and there would have been no need to call the floor over. Perhaps he had AK or AQ but let’s face it when would AK or AQ (or any other hand that isn’t a full house or better for that matter) ever raise a £25 bet to £50 when there is £400 on the table?

We all agreed this was a pretty low down thing to do but the dealer who was telling us the story made a interesting distinction. He said that, in his view it wasn’t a “moody” but an “angle shoot”. Well that was all lost on me. “Moody”, “angle shoot”, it’s all the same to me.

I just couldn’t do that to someone and I’d sure be upset if someone did it to me. There’s no place for that sort of manoeuvre and in my humble opinion people like that need dragging outside and given a good kicking.

Because when you think about it, it is highly unlikely that this character has figured out to do this on the fly. Which means he’d planned it previously and sat there for hours waiting for this exact situation to develop. And to repeat, there is practically zero chance the £50 raise on the river was a legitimate play. With what hand would anyone raise to £50 other than one that wins? If he could beat K-9 he would have shown.

People might say “Well Mr honest is a fool for showing his hand”. I disagree. When people call you on the river it’s time to show your cards and that’s what he did. He’s not a fool. He’s just playing straight and he’s entitled to think he’s playing in a straight game.

I’ll go further – he’s entitled to think the floor will do the right thing by him and in this case, doing the right thing would mean the floor declared the action was unintentional and ask Mr Angle if he can beat K-9. If he can fine if he can’t then piss off with the silly games and find another place to play.

By the way, the way to combat this is you are in Mr Honest’s shoes is firstly do not show your cards. Second, ask the player to confirm “is that a call?” and he will indeed have to say yes or no. If he says “yes it is a call” then it’s fine to show your cards.

Mr Angle lost his whole stack within an hour so there was some justice done but he didn’t lose it to Mr Honest so that was no real consolation.

I don’t like the way the casino dealt with it. As we left I told my brother about the hand and he didn’t either. “Yeah the dealer told us that story too when he was at my table. It’s a bullshit ruling. They didn’t have to give him the pot”.

Perhaps the people making the decisions get too absorbed in their own rules and start to think ” well yes, technically the hand is dead”. As the guy telling us the story was appearing to, perhaps they even have a grudging respect for the angle shooter.

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Poll of The Week

Still limbering up for the new Premier League season :).  Almost there now – just a few more days to go to kick off on Saturday.

Last Week’s question was “Which team will come LAST in the 2014/15 Premier League?” Well this week we’ve got another question where the winner is in fact a great big loser: “Which Premier League manager will “win” the sack race in 2014/15?” 

Well who wants to look at League winners and chart topping goalscorer bets when there’s so much misery and schaudenfraude to be enjoyed on the negative markets? Besides, if you’re finding that most of your bets are losers anyway why not start betting on people to do badly? (Er, does this work?)

I didn’t think it possible but the sack race is a phenomenon which is actually getting more ridiculous as time goes on.  I thought it had reached a peak years ago but last season was the maddest of all, with two clubs sacking their manager twice!  It could be carnage again this year as well.  When clubs are facing relegation they get predictably twitchy but with as many as 11 clubs in with a shout of going down that leads to quite a long dole queue.

This is how the logic goes: “If we sack our manager we’ll get a bounce in form. It always happens. It will be enough to lift us out of the relegation zone”

The some bright spark pops up and says “it only costs 3 million to change the manager but if you get relegated it costs £60m£70m (insert whatever figure the animated Sky presenter is currently screaming from the nearest television set).”

To which everyone says “HE MUST GO!” and the poor bloke gets fired even though he is actually performing better than all the bookies and judges had expected pre season.

This is pretty much the model that West Brom work on.

It got me to thinking that if you take this approach to the pathological extreme you end up with a situation where by about February or March…….”you change the manager EVERY SINGLE GAME!!!”

Yeah, that’ll keep the players on their toes. They’ll always give 100% then. Ha! A brilliant and most cunning plan. In fact I’m copywriting this idea so that clubs can only use it with my express permission and for a modest fee. I’m going to call it the “Pepe Mel advanced recruitment system” or perhaps “Rene Meulensteen” for short.

I anticipate it becoming very popular. If you run out of managers because there just aren’t any left then you can rehire old ones after a period, no-one will notice – or just put a wig and glasses on the current incumbent and hope no-one will be any the wiser.  You could even start a cloning programme but making ever so slight adjustments to the subject, such as hair colour or swearing frequency in English clones.

So for this year’s sack race?

Well Sam Allardyce is a big favourite, as short as even money. But I think that just makes the prices better on everyone else. I think he’s actually safe until the end of the season and that if they were going to sack him they’d have done it already. The fact that David Gold didn’t sack him after the “accidental” retweet of the “is this the day we fire BFS?” suggests to me he is safe for a while. (Isn’t jet lag a real pain?).

Next favourite is Aston Villa’s Paul Lambert at 13/2 and this is interesting. I was looking at the fixtures last night and I spotted this horrific start to the season for Aston Villa: Stoke City (A), Newcastle United (H), Hull City (H), Liverpool (A), Arsenal (H), Chelsea (A), Manchester City (H), Everton (A).

They could easily be bottom after 8 games if they don’t beat Newcastle or Hull. They’ve got the added pressure of Roy Keane’s moodswings so it could be grim place to be around indeed. (Villa are worth backing at 3-1 to get relegated if you fancied trading out of it later on.)

Alan Pardew is only two years into an eight year contract (lol) and after last year’s headbutt seems unsackable so I couldn’t back him. Likewise I think Harry has cast a spell over Tony Fernandes and won’t get sacked no matter how badly they do. Harry will leave of his own accord, most probably very soon after bankrupting QPR and Tony Fernandes. I think even the Southampton board might consider it a bit unfair to sack Ronald Koeman after selling all his players but you never know.  Similarly you’d like to think Nigel Pearson and Sean Dyche would be shown a degree of gratitude after getting Leicester and Burnley into the Premier League but gratitude is not the quality that chairmen tend to bring to the table these days. Gus Poyet actually seems pretty safe by comparison, as does Tony Penis.  I’d say the same for Steve Bruce but you can’t say that about a bloke who has managed 1000 clubs.  And don’t think Pochettino is safe. Not with Spurs’ track record he ain’t!

There is one other bet I like. Given West Brom’s modus operandus I’m tempted to back Alan Irvine at 10-1. I’ve nothing against the man, but seeing as I expect West Brom to be relegation candidates it’s hardly a long shot that the board brick themselves (again) and push the ejector seat button (again). So, “Which Premier League manager will “win” the sack race in 2014/15?” Answer this week’s poll and leave a comment with your Twitter username to be in with a chance of winning a token for my Bounty competition.

PS – I’m omitting the managers I consider “safe”: Arsene Wenger, Louis van Gaal, Tony Pulis, Brendan Rodgers, Roberto Martinez, Manuel Pellegrini, Jose Mourinho (insofar as a palpably insane candidate can be considered “safe”)

Congratulations to @BenBulben40 for winning last week’s poll.

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