On top of Hollister hoodies, Jaeger bombs and saying you like drum n bass rather than actually liking it, betting has become a big part of student ‘lad’ culture.
Chowing down on Soccer Saturday with an accumulator slip longer than Phil Thompson’s beak is a weekly ritual. Durham student Christopher Brooker took things to a whole new level: he made £700 from William Hill on a novelty bet that he’d still be with his girlfriend at graduation.
Here’s a fun breakdown of student betting characters. Where do you and your mates fit in?
The Oompa Lumper
The oompa lumper will happily hammer a massive chunk of his student loan – or even the whole smorgasbord of loan, grant, bursary and savings on the “dead cert.” He has no concept of odds or risk reward – life’s a lump.
An oompa lumper’s relentless winning streak can be frustrating for more measured punters. He can go semesters without a hit, but eventually he’ll be thrown by a form guide from a handball league. Or he’ll lump on what is effectively a dead rubber – the second leg of a match that ended 5-0 in the first encounter.
A prime example of an oompa lumper meeting his comeuppance is poker pro Gus Hansen’s €1.4 million lump on Roland Garros in 2009– the one year Rafa didn’t win.
The tightarse will bound into your room like a Dalmatian on heat boasting of his “big bet” or “uber tip.” You’ll get all excited before he says “come into my room and I’ll show you,” or digs out a crumpled betting slip with more scrolls than the Torah from his pocket.
Sigh. It’s another 15 team accumulator. God loves a trier, but he’s been doing this every Saturday for three years to no avail. Although this time, he could have really done his research… he could make me a millionaire…
Alas, no. It’s a measly 25p stake for a return of £300 – not bad, but not the life-changing sum to resurrect your morning glory. You squint through a list of obscure selections before going back to bed.
With more front than a Klingon forehead, the bullshitter conjures up the most elaborate betting stories, from mammoth wins to crushing losses. 20 team accumulators shattered by a last minute goal, and crazy roulette spin-ups curtailed only by a drunken romp with the girl next door.
Grilling the bullshitter on the details of his balla lifestyle gets so embarrassing it’s better to let him in revel in his lies. Requests for proof are met by coyness and the same tired excuses – alcohol fuelled memory loss and deleted betting histories.
After a Freshers week of naïve undergrads buying his bullshit, his stock falls faster than Ortis Deley’s after that presenting master-class at the 2011 Athletics World Championships.
Seriously, who under the age of 60 bets on horses? And even worse, dogs?
Grandad is old before his time. He’s a traditionalist, a purist - which means a physical trip to the bookies to put a fiver on the 2.15 at Aintree. He’ll spend more time researching trainers and course conditions than doing his essays. Mobile betting is an anathema to him; he prefers a pie and a pint at the dogs track.
Watch out though, granddad could be a mask for a degenerate gambler – an action junkie craving the regularity of race meetings. In which case, get granddad some help.
The Sensible Simon
Deep down, we all want to be sensible Simon.
But he’s not cool. Sensible Simon wears factor 50 on a Malia booze cruise to avoid sunburn. He formats his bibliography properly and hands his essay in a week before it’s due on Turnitin.
Sensible Simon will manage his bankroll, diligently observe corners and cards markets, and engage in matched betting to extract value from free bets and sign-up bonuses. He’s a conscientious condom-carrier, and always gets his loyalty card stamped for a free Panini at the local sarnie shop.
The guru is a rare breed, a well-oiled machine, a performance upgrade from sensible Simon. He doesn’t wear factor 50 – he stays in the shade full stop.
Whilst the students at Southampton Solent hang on Ray Winstone’s every half-time word screen, the guru is locked in his London School of Economics pod with five monitors and an A-Z of international bookies at his fingertips.
He’s the arbitrage better - someone who exploits bookie errors or differences opinion. This involves meticulous research, liquidity in the market, a network of friends to place bets, and betting big sums to realise an edge.
It’s a practice frowned upon by bookies, but it doesn’t stop the guru – he’s a slave to success.