Sunday 30 October 2011

Maybe the Mayans are right ...

The world is about to end.... And here I am worrying about a pro line nightmare from hell... Truth is I think I'm on the block.. I'm like the Henry Burris of the Elbow River Casino. Old faithful who has been a little gun shy recently, I could get away with the old 2/3 every week but surely not a 1/3 oh dear, I can hear them now, sharpening there pencils as the thought of the blog being up for grabs becomes more than a pipe-dream!

So, what do we do, where do we start, can I ever forgive myself for picking the worst team (aside from Blackburn. Who are woeful) and letting your hard earned cash go up on smoke. Yep I can so onwards and upwards we go!

Quit sniveling losers, smell the coffee, get your pencils sharpened ready for the weekend!

This weekend sees one of the biggest weekends of the year at the casino as we host the Breeders cup in our off track betting room, the top horses from around the world merge in Kentucky at Churchill Downs and over a period of 2 days, dreams can indeed come true, huge money on offer and lots of gambling enjoyment to be had with the ponies. Come on down it should be a ton of fun!

Off topic, have you ever met a Mayan? You'd think they would be everywhere wouldn't ya, moaning about the world ending, wish I knew one who had money or a nice car, just to make a deal with him prior to the date with our destiny

Me- Hello Mr Mayan
Him- alrite
Me- so the worlds ending soon then?
Him- yep
Me- is that an Audi you drive?
Him- yep
Me- i'll give you 20 bucks for it
Him- 20 bucks for an Audi, are you mad?
Me- well, I thought you said the world was gonna end, what do you need an Audi for? Unless you were telling fibs?
Him- sold

*i think it sounds better if the role of me is played in the voice of Sean Connery and the voice of the mayan by Morgan Freeman ... Just my thoughts!!

I'll be back with pro line picks on Friday

Wednesday 26 October 2011

Possibly the worst weekend ever...

Sorry, but did anybody see that coming? My beloved Man United beaten to a pulp and I mean pulp by our sworn enemy Manchester City, let's put this into perspective for you my friendly Canadian brethren, this would be like the calgary flames getting beaten by Vancouver !! Oh hang on, that happens a lot, hmm maybe Calgary Stampeders getting beat by the Edmonton Eskimos...oh hang on, that happens a lot also ... Jeez!! This could be harder that I thought! Oh yeah guess what happened with the pro line picks.. 2 out of 3 surprise surprise!
So, what now, when will the pain end, when will the pro line gods smile down on us, when will the cash start rolling in? Surely anytime now, stay strong folks do not lose faith in the game.

Yet still I am receiving mixed messages from people who think that I am too hard on Wigan, you think I have been too harsh in isolating the fat people... Have you been there? There is nothing isolated in Wigan except the salad bar !

Anyways enough of the frivolity, onto the money making 2/3 machine.

At time of writing, the wonderful lottery folks at the wclc (the most crooked organization by the way when it comes to odds compiling- I'll break it down next week) have yet to have the soccer sheet available for Saturdays game, so it's gonna be a wonderful surprise when you hit the gas station or CASINO to place your bet-
Saturday -

Everton vs Manchester United

4 seasons have passed since we have a win at Goodison Park, but Everton have lost a great deal of talent over those 4 seasons and will struggle against a wounded Man Utd squad intent on forgetting the Man City debacle ASAP. In the last 4 games we have seen 14 goals so don't expect a boring stalemate here! It's a 5am kick off over here so get up early and enjoy the red devils winning!
Verdict - Away Win

Chelsea vs Arsenal

Arsenal are without a win away from home in their last 8 games, do not expect that to end at Stamford Brdge-
Arsenal have looked very vulnerable t the back whilst Fernando Torres appears to have found his scoring boots, this could be a bad game for the gooners.
Verdict - Home win

Wigan vs Fulham

Well, what do you expect?? Well think again, we are siding with the worst team in the league against one of the worst traveling teams in the league. Wigan surely have to be bet here, Fulham are shocking on the road an whilst tempted with the tie am going to side with the fatty's with no teeth!!
Wigan will be great value and should be bet!
Verdict - Home Win

Good luck you crazy kids!! Lump on !! $$$$$$$$

Disclaimer against bad grammar and spelling as I type this on my iPhone which does not understand my english dialect! :)

Friday 21 October 2011

OKay ...we stink...until this weekend..

Right, take it easy, we haven't been having much success and so I am taking a little heat for that, it's ok, I've got broad yet a little tubby shoulders, So it doesn't upset me too much, WHAT DOES UPSET that some of you out there are taking offence at the things i'm writing about Wigan... Wow...People are supporting Wigan... How did this happen? I only speak the truth so get over it...Hey..Did you see that they had a beauty contest last week in Wigan and guess what...Nobody won!! Booom.... hey what do you call a pretty girl in Wigan?? A Tourist ...Booooom ...Why's that coz it's full of fat people ..that's why... anyways onto business, the business of making money - The pro line picks for this week are as follows:-

Newcastle vs WIGAN - Who do you think we are gonna take? Not the fat ones... Come on Newcastle...Truth is Newcastle are not really that good...but Wigan are FAT - so not good wins out over FAT everytime - Newcastle - Confident home win

Tottenham at Blackburn- Tottenham have really started to move forward in recent weeks whilst somehw Steve Kean remains in his job at Blackburn, though there is another scheduled protest against him taking place before the game. Expect him to be fired at game's end after the spurs run out comfortable winners. - Tottenham - Away win

Wolves vs Swansea - Wolves are english- Swansea are welsh- Welsh are good for nothing except saying really long words in a silly accent - oh and sheep...don't get me started on the sheep...

That's it folks-

Games 80-Home / 83-Home -88-Visitor

$20 investment WILL WIN you $94 this week (presently -$80)

Tuesday 18 October 2011

Pop Up Restaurants

From European to North American markets, we are seeing a new trend emerging in restaurants. Top chefs like Thomas Keller, Ludo Lefebvre, and Grant Achatz, just to name a few, are pioneering a new pop-up concept that is bound to hit the mainstream restaurant industry in the next couple of years.

Much like the tasting menus that are being embraced in most major metropolitan centres and are a focal point of most high end Las Vegas casinos, we are seeing the development of the same type of appeal for the pop-up restaurant. But how is a pop-up restaurant defined? What makes a pop-up restaurant different from every other restaurant down the block? And what is the appeal of the pop-up concept? To answer these questions, we have to first establish what ingredients are needed to create these unique dining experiences.

Ingredients for a pop-up restaurant

The first and most important ingredient is a top quality chef, preferably someone that has a certain amount of name recognition.

Almost as important as the chef, is the location. For a pop-up restaurant to work, you need a space that is funky, unique, and/or obscure - preferably all three.

An edgy, yet knowledgeable staff is a major asset in ensuring the success of the pop-up restaurant since most of the marketing for this concept, if executed properly, is word of mouth.

There must be an established “foodie culture” within the area that the restaurant is going to operate. This should provide a strong customer base to build from provided that the next ingredient is put together properly.

Fresh, local ingredients that are executed to perfection with a flair for dramatic presentation and unique service methods will give customers something they can talk about around the water cooler the next morning.

An excellent part of the mix is a local artist aspect. It may be pieces of art that help to accentuate the d├ęcor or it may be as bold as having the artist create a space or interactive art piece within the restaurant.

A small but thoughtful menu is what should be expected from this style of restaurant, as there can not be a lot of room to waver on quality or availability of product.

Essential in the opening of any pop-up restaurant is a strong social media campaign that uses direct to customer marketing, making it easy to approach the specific niche markets that are required to create a strong customer base from which to build. This will also help to define the exclusivity of the venue and increase the association each time a new pop-up is initiated.

There must be a known expiration date on the restaurant, as this is the major defining factor of what a pop-up is. It has to be fresh, vibrant and similar to the idea of a limited time offer, but on an entire restaurant scale.
If all of these ingredients have been laid out ahead of time and are put together with thoughtfulness and attention to detail, there is no telling what the impact can be. It is more of a back-to-basics approach in a way, where the focus is the food, the service, the product, and the space. This is a departure from the huge push to open restaurants with gala events and media-only campaigns that pay short-term gains only to be followed by empty seats when the next newest restaurant push is on. It is difficult to give the pop-up a true definition as it is a reinvention with each new concept, but with the obscurity of the definition comes the appeal of the interpretation.

Hoping you enjoy the next restaurant popping up in your neighbourhood.

Thursday 13 October 2011

Damn you meatloaf...

Not the food (which by the way and whilst we are on the subject is not a true top 5 favorite of mine) I am of course referring to the big fat 1980's rock star who penned the wonderfully catchy 2 out of 3 ain't bad!!
Well fatty, it isn't very good either, we have posted 3 pick em blogs to date And each week we have the unfortunate 2 out of 3 last week we fell victim to the worst display of ball handling since Jenna Jameson in 'dirty nurse' (or so I'm told by a friend who watched it....)
So down $60 we found ourselves in a little spot of bother wondering where this weekend will take us!
I am going to try and find some solace in the English soccer again after our Philadelphia meltdown the NFL can wait for a couple of weeks! lots of big games this weekend and None bigger than the 5.45am feast on Saturday when my beloved Manchester United venture into one of the stinkiest horrible towns in the UK (no, not Wigan this time) but our scouser neighbors Liverpool, this doesn't take much in depth profiling, it is kinda simple...they suck and we don't !! Visitor win at 2.0
Next up we are going with the home of the world famous oatcakes (google it) Stoke - where men are men and sheep are scared!! They are very tough to beat at home, almost as tough as they are to understand!! And they are taking on fulham, who travel as well as I do (2 packets of gravol) confident home win.
Last but not least let's take the money laden Q.P.R at home to Blackburn, huge expectations at QPR after a huge spending spree prior to the transfer window closing, the new additions seem to be setting in well and all augurs well for a uneventful season
Free of the worry of a relegation dogfight! Get on em at home against a poor Blackburn side who's boss Steve Kean could be out of a job by Noon on Saturday!!- home win.

So, here we have it-

80- visitor 2.10
83- home 1.9
84-home 1.75

$20 investment returns $139.60. Presently -$60

Good luck to all!! :)

Wednesday 12 October 2011

Coupon Conundrum

The positives and negatives of online discounting websites

There is a huge array of online discount sites like Groupon and Living Social sprouting up across the country and around the world. These are without a doubt great deals from a customer standpoint, but what is the benefit to the establishment? What are the positives and negatives in the big picture of online discounts?

The basic premise of these websites is that a company puts a substantial discount on a product or service they provide and in doing so get exclusive exposure on a website. The majority of sites feature only one discount per day, and there is often a minimum purchase requirement to initiate the deal. From a restaurant standpoint, there is some control on the amount of the discount that is offered, although the majority of sites give priority sequence to those establishments willing to offer greater discounts.

The benefit to the customer is obvious, and the coupon’s popularity is undeniable, especially with the 18 to 45 year old female demographic which make up close to 70 per cent of the customer base for the online coupon sites. This is great for salons, spas, and restaurants that cater to this market. There are however some negative aspects for restaurateurs which should be factored in when deciding to move forward with online coupon offerings.

Realize the dangers

One danger of putting out high percentage discount coupons is that restaurateurs continually devalue their products hoping to instead make returns on different revenue streams or repeat business. The problem with this mentality is that instead of building loyalty to an establishment it seems as if the only loyalty is to the website that provides the discount. Meanwhile restaurants are paying 25 to 40 per cent back to the website that offers a deal that has already seen a 50 per cent price reduction - not exactly a sustainable restaurant business plan.

Over the past three years, the decline in the global economy has made sites like these extremely popular. With increased costs in basic commodities and cost of living, the average consumer’s disposable income has decreased substantially; we are at a point now that most people need to look for ways to cut corners in their spending. At the same time the decline in the traffic through business doors has meant that restaurants are looking at any possible way to get seats filled.

So with the influx of coupon customers, what is the next progression of the lifecycle? Is this a trend that will be short lived with the eventual rebound of the economy, or is the coupon around to stay? While these sites may even the playing field for restaurants with new locations, poor locations, or locations with inferior products or services, is it to the detriment of the industry as a whole?

How online discount websites can work

But what is the alternative? Most print and media ads cost far more than the social media sites and have no tangible results. With these coupon sites, we can clearly see the people coming into our restaurants and feel the paper in our hands. This sweeping trend has done what marketing departments everywhere continually strive to do – take something that is inconclusive or immeasurable and make it real and tactile.

Regardless of your viewpoint, the fact is undeniable that these sites are changing the way that a large segment of customers spend their money, and while it may not be a long term solution, the results of getting people in the door are staggering. It is a chance to infuse businesses with new clientele that operators’ may draw from in the future. With this marketing tool, the view must be long term, and if you expect to have any recapture rate, you must believe in your product and its presentation 100 per cent. There are constantly differing viewpoints on these sites, and it is up to each individual restaurateur to make an educated, well thought out decision when navigating through this coupon conundrum.

Good luck!

Friday 7 October 2011

Pro-Line Picks Oct 07, 2011

Week 3 of the pro-line blog see's our attention switch codes from English Soccer to NFL Football... I did visit many sources for information for my picks this week and hope that the research will be worthy of a nice ticket coming our way! We have experienced 2/3 on the soccer tickets and whilst that is none too shabby, it does not bring home the bacon and leaves our followers at -$40.

Lots of interesting action scheduled for this weekend and I perused long and hard before making the final picks.

Good luck folks, see ya at the windows! :)

Denver Broncos vs San Diego Chargers

For the Denver Broncos, things might just get worse before they get better.
John Fox's debut season as head coach in the Mile High city is already heading for free-fall at 1-3, and now the San Diego Chargers come a calling this Sunday.
Fresh off a shredding at the hand of Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers, Philip Rivers is not exactly the perfect antidote for a porous Broncos secondary that gave up 408 passing yards in the 49-23 loss to Green Bay.
Once again a leading MVP candidate, Rivers has yet to hit top gear but has still thrown for almost 1300 yards in the first four weeks of the season. And he must be smacking his chops at the prospect of facing the Broncos on Sunday.
Rivers has feasted on Denver in recent years, going 8-2 as a starter with a 112.4 passer rating. Those numbers include a 33-28 decision at Mile High last season.
One boost for the Broncos this week is the likely return of Champ Bailey at corner, but that's unlikely to stop Rivers and his multi-talented offense.
Vincent Jackson - Rivers' favorite target - is averaging almost 19 yards a grab and could be set for a big day, while last year's first-round draft pick Ryan Mathews appears to be finally hitting something like top gear in the backfield.
Mathews has rumbled for 179 yards in San Diego's last two games, and his emergence takes some of the pressure off Rivers and the passing game.
On the offensive side of the ball for Denver, Kyle Orton remains the starter but the calls for Tim Tebow will surely start again if he struggles early against the Chargers.
So far in 2011 the Chargers have gone 3-1 without really exploding - expect that to happen this Sunday. It could be a shootout early, but I confidently expect Rivers and co to overcome both a 3.5-point handicap on the spread and a 4 point victory on pro line to push the Broncos deeper into despair.

Verdict - Game 28- Visitor 1.6

Buffalo Bills vs Philadelphia Eagles

Our 2nd featured game see`s Philadelphia bid to finally live up to that 'Dream Team' moniker and start waking from a nightmare 1-3 start.
All the Super bowl talk has ended for now in the City of Brotherly Love after Andy Reid's men somehow blew a 23-3 lead at home to San Francisco, eventually losing 24-23.
Things don't exactly get easier for the Eagles this week, and they head to Buffalo to face the free-scoring Bills in what is now pretty much a must-win game for them.
Two games at Ralph Wilson Stadium this season have produced a total of 138 points - heart-stopping Buffalo victories over Oakland (38-35) and New England (34-31).
The Bills came within an ace of going 4-0 last week before eventually falling 23-20 in Cincinnati, but I expect normal offensive service to be resumed this week.
Ryan Fitzpatrick's reputation is growing weekly and with star Eagles pass rusher Trent Cole set to miss the game with a calf injury, the Bills should again put up some pretty offensive numbers.
Vick meanwhile runs a high-powered and well-balanced Philly offense, with an array of potent aerial weapons complimented by the terrific LeSean McCoy on the ground because of this we expect Vick to come out on top this weekend.
It's difficult to see anything but another high-scoring affair in Orchard Park and a confident selection of a visitor win and a total points score of over 49.5 is expected to pay dividends.

Verdict - Game 20 - Visitor 2.0
Verdict - Game 20 - Over 49.5 points 1.7

Recommended wager -

$20 Double Play ticket
Game 20 - Visitor and Over
Game 28- Visitor

= $108.80       (presently -$40)

Scott Roberts