Speaking of tennis - I recently started betting on matches when I opened an accoutn on Bet365 with the initial purpose of streaming matches. I was required to deposit a minimum of 5 quid, and after I found out that I would get a bonus if I deposited 10 quid, I did exactly that. I've been playing with my deposits + the bonus for the past week, and it was going quite well...until last night when I lost about 25-30 quid (I don't even want to know exactly how much I lost) betting on Agnieska Radwanska and my darling ROGER FEDERER to win their respective finals.
If I had known that Radwanska was injured, I wouldn't have been so sure that she'd beat Flavia Pennetta. Alas, I wasn't aware of that fact and so I put 15 pounds on her, which I promptly lost when she lost 6-1, 6-2. Subsequently, I decided that it would be fun to bet on the opponent too, so I managed to reduce my losses.
For the Federer/Djokovic match, however, it was just a disaster. First I bet on Fed to win the whole tournament before he reached the final - that was only like 3 pounds or something like that, so it wasn't a big deal. But then I put 12 pounds on him to beat Djokovic, which I was confident about after he won the first set, but which I started panicking over when he clowned the second set away. He got broken in his second service game of the third; I cashed a bet at a horribly low rate.
THEN, WHEN DJOKOVIC SERVED FOR THE MATCH AT 5-4, FED BROKE BACK. FED BROKE BACK, AND HE HELD EASILY FOR 6-5. Naturally I thought that he'd probably win because the momentum had shifted to him...and so I put 10 pounds on him to win. I thought he'd break for the match, 7-5, but no, he sleep-walked through Djokovic's last service game and foud himself in a deciding tie-break.
The worst part of this whole fiasco was either the fact that I lost more money than I would have lost if he'd just lost the match 6-4 in the third, or the fact that he was utter shit in the tie-break. If you're going to put on that sort of lackadaisical performance after playing a perfect service game to break back and stay in the match, I'd rather you didn't bother. Without actual money at stake, I'd be so disappointed that he played a horrible tie-break after the effort to break back; but because he lost me 10 more pounds, I'm disappointed AND pissed.
Can't wait for Miami to start. I've got some losses to make up for. I'm super risk averse (which explais the paltry amounts I bet) so I'll be making a series of safe bets where the odds are like 1.000000001 or something ridiculous.
I need a new computer; both my 'n' and 'enter' keys aren't working very well. It's annoying.
Been playing lots of tennis the past week and I feel like I'm getting into a nice good rhythm. I haven't hit my forehand so well in months and my backhand is solidly trucking on, as always. I even managed to fix my service motion a bit but my serve still sucks.
At social tenis last Wednesday, I was told by the coach that while my tennis is technically good, I play with no tactics in mind. I played 4 points, singles, against this grandma - and lost all 4 points. I lost the first point when I missed an aggressive down-the-line backhand return and lost the last one when I hit my forehand wide. After we were done, he said to me, 'With all due respect, do you think at all when you're hitting or do you just hit the ball?' He also said, 'Don't go for a winner until you've played five shots. Most players at this level will make an error by the 5th shot so you wouldn't need to go for a winner anyway.'
It's true that half the time I just hit the ball without thinking about what I'm doing; that is one of the things that I enjoy most about tennis, the part where I switch my mind off. Unfortunately, that makes me a terrible match player because, like the coach said, I play without tactics and go too soon for the winning shot. To be fair to me, sometimes my game plan is to end the rally as fast as possible, because I know from experience that the longer the rally goes on, the higher the chances are that I would make an error...and so I conserve energy by making the error early. Seriously, though, I hate playing against players that can somehow keep getting the ball back and forcing me to play an extra shot: half the time I'm not prepared for the next shot because I think I hit a winning shot and I waste 1.5 seconds admiring it, and by the time I realise that the ball is coming back, it's too late for me to set up properly for the next shot and I hit a lame one (either straight into the net or framed. If I'm lucky, the framed shot lands in. Usually it goes out).
I must also admit this: I really, really like hitting winners. I like to hit the ball hard and play aggressively. But I took to heart what the coach said, and actually applied it today when I played against with guy at the beautiful Parliament Hill. After making a conscious decision and effort to stay in the rallies, I did exactly that - hit netural shots down the centre, occassionally angling them a bit just for kicks, and pretty much let my partner self-destruct. This game plan won me one set, 6-3.
Alas, I got fucking tired in the second and started feeling hungry and started thinking about what time it was, and even when I tried to hit neutral shots, I made stupid errors. Also stopped running for balls because I was tired. This was probably the first time that I experienced the momentum shift - I was in a goodish zone in the first (partner even said, 'You're killing me!') and in the second, after I failed to break after some break points in the first game and clowned away my first service game, my partner couldn't do anything wrong, and I couldn't do anything right. I was even quite confident of winning the second set after I won the first. I was always somewhat sceptical when tennis commentators talk about shifts in momentum in a match but I totally believe it now.
I'm getting bored of this entry so I'll move on to the last thing that I want to talk about: Veronica Mars.
I was a bona fide Veronica Mars fan: I watched the first season, chronologically, seven times, and it remains my favourite TV show of all-time. I loved the characters, their interactions, Veronica's tough exterior that hid a certain wounded vulnerability, Logan's self-destructive OPJness (obligatory psychotic jackass), the free-flowing wit and sarcasm, the relationship between Veronica and her father...apart from the first season, the mystery wasn't that much of an appeal for me. What I loved, and was invested in, was the characters.
The best moment of the movie when I saw it in Leicester Square on Sunday evening was Keith Mars' reaction when Veronica showed up in his office unannounced. There's something to be said about Enrico Colantoni's acting range when I have spent the last few years watching him as the shrewd, manipulative gang leader Elias on Person of Interest, then see absolutely no trace of that completely opposite character when he expresses Keith's sheer joy and delight at seeing his daughter. While the Logan/Veronica reunion felt a bit inauthentic, the father/daughter relationship rang absolutely true in every single scene.
The movie wasn't perfect by any means; the central mystery was a non-event (who really cared? It wasn't even the real Carrie Bishop who was murdered, but some random trying to be Leighton Meester) and Rob Thomas stuffed it with too many cameos by minor characters (I didn't care for Corny much). But it was Veronica Mars. It was a continuation of her story, it was almost like a new episode of a show that I loved, with characters that resonated with me. I didn't care about the story; all I wanted was to see how her story unfolds after the depressing series finale with her walking alone in the rain. As an objective movie-goer, it was an average-to-good movie; as a fan of the show, I fucking loved it. I loved all the nerdy references and in-jokes that only fans of the series will understand, I loved seeing my favourite characters again, I loved listening to Veronica's sarcastic quips and seeing her verbally take down her enemies again (she even punched someone!), and I really loved how dark Neptune looked and was. The police corruption and brutality shown in the series wasn't nearly as extreme and dark as what was depicted in the movie, and I appreciated the extra darkness of the movie. I also really liked that Rob Thomas gave himself an opening for a possible sequel.
Needless to say, I've already bought the movie on iTunes. I can't wait to watch it again.