Plenty of Smoke but No Fire
Many have tried, but nobody has succeeded in taking his crown. The inimitable Cheeky Punt takes you through his weekly betting lows and highs with the original punting blog.
Last Tuesday of course heralded the return of the Champions League. And if you are one of those poor unfortunate souls who is often embroiled in 'TV remote politics' on European nights, I have a little tip for you.
When the opening credits roll on ITV sing the theme tune music (Handel's 'Zadok the Priest') as loudly and as annoyingly as you possibly can.
At which point your better half will invariably give you a death stare before trotting up the stairs to watch Don't Tell the Bride on the portable. Jah Presto!
Last Tuesday my double of choice was PSG and Swindon Town. I also had said teams in a treble along with Preston so enjoyed a rollicking good night as all three of my naps cruised home.
Indeed only Real Madrid's late heroics scuppered a 'Hollywood' 5-fold consisting of PSG, Blackpool, Swindon, Preston and Manchester City.
8/13, 8/11, 6/5, 4/5 and 5/1. That little lot would have returned at 65/1 and if Joe Hart was angry about the Citizens letting a 2-1 lead slip with less than five minutes left in the Bernabau, he should have seen my kipper at the final whistle.
Friday was a forgettable day on several levels.
Gael Monfils toughing out a three-set win over Phillip Kohlschreiber in Metz was the highlight from a betting point of view, with Blackburn's feeble capitulation against Middlesbrough (I had £300 on Rovers at 5/6, £50 on them -1 at 12/5 and also a ton double with Monfils) the unquestionable nadir.
With Boro 2-0 up I decided alcohol was the best medicine so rang my mate Big Ola and before you could say 'STEVE KEAN OUT' we were on the peeve with a group of men dressed as sailors (strange but true).
I was obviously in a bad way emotionally so going hell for leather on the double gin and oranges was in hindsight not my greatest move. Fast forward twelve hours and I woke up on a strangers living room floor with a cartoon hangover and 26 (count 'em) missed call from 'er indoors.
What happened next has passed into Hartlepool legend. Instead of calling her back and apologising I defiantly cracked open a Coors Light and declared to Ola and a three-strong crowd that "Today the choice is simple gentlemen. We go hard or we go home".
I am of course a veteran of 'the rollover' (none stop drinking spread over several days in the same under-crackers) but I faced a dilemma. I had lost my cash card but knew I had £400 in a sock draw at home.
Fuelled by Dutch courage I decided to ring a friend and meet my nemesis. She was obviously furious and was screaming at me as I picked up my money and tried to act sober. Then events took a surreal twist.
One of the lads waiting for me in a car (I am still uncertain who the actual culprit was) opened my front door and let a smoke bomb off in my hallway. There was a loud bang before smoke engulfed Chez Punt. I was stunned myself but saw an opportunity of escape amid the thick artificial fog.
We had it away on our toes and I shambled home in the early hours of Sunday morning to genuinely terrible scenes. An 'er indoors-less property, and scorch marks on my new flooring.
Sunday and indeed the last few days have been joyless for yours truly. Not even a £120 7/2 double on India to beat England in the T20 and Manchester United to beat Liverpool could lift my malaise.
'Er indoors has gone and if her mother is to be believed "she's never coming back, cos you're a crank".
I know it's a long shot but if you are reading this column babe, please would you find it in your heart to forgive me? I knew nothing about 'Smoke-bombgate' and if you come back I promise to be a better person. As the Bard once mused, a man cannot live on Mini Kievs alone.
All my love always, Cheeky x
Cheeky's Punt of the Week: Europe to win the Ryder Cup at 7/4 (Stan James).