Odds Compilers 4
SATURDAY The midweek prices must go to the printers by 6.30pm so Saturday is all about trying to make sure every little late detail is factored into the prices before they are signed off. In other words, Coral's prices on the midweek coupon do not reflect events that happen beyond Saturday evening. If the Monday papers reveal that a player has gone for a scan the day before and is out for a month, that team's midweek price will effectively be wrong.
This is where the punters have an advantage over us, but we do all we can to avoid changing coupon prices because it does not go down well with our regulars, who like the price on the coupon to be the price they get.
I get into the office in time to watch the lunchtime match on Sky, during which I will always be on the lookout for any information that might mean I should consider a price change.
My PC has a facility that automatically flicks up any mention of Coral on the Betfair chatroom, where punters might be discussing what they consider to be a rick price or whatever, and I have newsnow.co.uk constantly updating me with latest information.
And while the main task is to get next week's prices spot on, I am also keeping an eye on how we might do on the games taking place today. The traders will keep me updated with which teams have been best backed so by the time I leave the office to make the short tube journey to West Ham if they are playing at home I will know who we want to win and who we want to lose.
During the match, I will receive a constant stream of text messages from the office keeping me updated with how our bogey teams are getting on.
I am out of my seat the moment the final whistle goes and back at my desk by 5.15 to make the final alterations to the tissue. Prices can change quite a bit depending on the Saturday results. Take a midweek match between Leicester and Tottenham for instance. I might originally be 5-4 Leicester, 7-4 Tottenham and 11-5 the draw. But if that afternoon Leicester have gone and won 2-0 at Arsenal and Spurs have lost 3-0 at Bolton, I will go something like 10-11 Leicester, 5-2 Tottenham, 11-5 the draw.
It is important not to get too carried away by one result, though. With most teams, punters will place a lot more importance in their latest performance than perhaps they should. It's another thing to bear in mind when making the last-minute changes.
The final prices go off to the printers at 6.30pm and between then and the final proofs coming back a couple of hours later I concentrate on updating the ante-post prices. This is an increasingly important task as the ante-post markets become ever more popular. The key points to take into account when deciding how to revise a team's long-term price are how they played that afternoon, how well backed they have been during the week and what their next few fixtures are like. I often like to avoid reducing a team's price too much on the strength of one win. They might have beaten an inferior team 2-0 at home, but where is the surprise in that? Plus, if they have three tough fixtures up next you can keep them unchanged, knowing you will lay them to people who are unaware that their prospects of adding significantly to their points total in the coming weeks are not especially bright.
Likewise, a team that has nicked a draw against a decent outfit and have easy games ahead of them are often worth having on your side so their price will invariably be cut.
Depending on how busy the midweek programme is, I can be away by anything from eight o'clock to midnight.