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Years ago, two punters managed to make nearly £500,000 betting on a hole-in-one happening at any of the four major golf tournaments in the world, due mainly to the vastly inflated odds offered by a number of independent bookmakers. It begs the question; could a similar thing happen in eSports markets where eSports Players and Experts Beat the Bookies at Their Own Game?

In 1991 John Carter and Paul Simons were firmly aware that many smaller bookmakers still underestimated the possibility of a hole-in-one occurring during any golf tournament; knowledge gleaned from the time the Essex pair had spent working in the gambling industry themselves. To most mortals, a hole-in-one is a near-impossible feat, but it actually occurs more frequently than people may think in the professional game.

The current odds of an amateur making a hole-in-one on a Par 3 stand at roughly 12,500/1, but they shorten to 2,500/1 for a pro golfer to hit one at a specific tournament. If you apply that 2,500/1 to 144 golfers competing across a four-day tournament, then the odds of a hole-in-one being hit shorten further to a point where they are pretty much 1/1, or Evens as you may call it. This means, if you bet £10 and it came off then you would win £20 back (your original £10 and £10 of winnings).

However, back in 1991, some independent bookmakers actually put the odds of this happening as high as 100/1 and, subsequently, it just so happened that there was at least one hole-in-one at the four major tournaments that year. John and Paul took home an estimated £400,000 across England and Ireland and it remains a stark reminder to bookmakers worldwide that they need to get their odds right.

Does this have anything to do with eSports at all, I hear you ask? The answer is yes, because a similar thing could well be happening right now.

eSports Betting

eSports betting is still in its infancy, with most of the major bookmakers offering betting in some regard, but only on a few games or tournaments and nowhere near as in-depth as say football or tennis. The market is bound to improve and allow betting on more markets as the viewership of eSports as a whole increases across the globe.

But for now, the people creating the odds have no more knowledge than your run-of-the-mill eSports fan, purely because eSports hasn’t been a huge commodity for all that long. The betting and oddsmaking aspect of eSports isn’t something these businesses have had to deal until now, so there is reason to believe that they may not be doing it efficiently yet.

How to Make eSports Betting Work for You

If they aren’t doing it efficiently, then there is room for exploitation. If you are a devoted expert in anything from LoL to CS:GO and you feel like you know the tournaments and match-ups better than anyone else, then take a look at betting odds at places like William Hill and see what you think.

Let’s use CS:GO ESL One Cologne 2017 as an example. The betting odds had SK Gaming as favourites, with FaZe and FNATIC second and third. SK Gaming were 3/1 to win the 16-team tournament, and did eventually come out on top. Was 3/1 really an accurate assessment of the reigning champions, who had just reeled off four tournament wins and two second places in their last six premier tournament appearances, and who had only come out of the top four twice in a full calendar year? A football team with that pedigree would have been priced odds-on, meaning your prize would be worth less than your stake (although you would also receive your stake back if you won).

Then you look at Cloud9, who came into the tournament at 33/1, and eventually finished runners-up. Using an each-way bet (i.e. you bet on them coming first or second, and receive half the odds of the win should they come second), you would make a very good return on a team that had already won four major tournaments in 2017.

Of course, the comparison between the golfing scenario and this one isn’t exact. The hole-in-one betting coup happened using independent bookmakers who lacked the resources to get experts for every single sport. Nowadays, the only bookmakers you will typically use are huge, and thus have cash to spend recruiting experts in every single sporting field. If they start to lose out too badly, you can be assured they will act accordingly. This means, you need to act quickly to take advantage whilst the odds are still in your favour.

They wouldn’t be making millions of pounds each year if they weren’t good at their jobs, right?!

Are you an eSports expert? If so then you could have some luck taking advantages of the bookmakers that aren't