Pinnacle is known for offering the sharpest odds online. Expert traders with years of experience in the industry manage these odds, but sometimes things don’t go exactly the plan. Much like bettors, bookmakers do lose money. What are the biggest losses in Pinnacle’s history? Read on to find out.
Pinnacle has previously published information on the biggest ever payout to one customer on a single bet and that left many people asking the same question; what is Pinnacle’s biggest loss for an individual event? Below is a list of the five events where Pinnacle has made the biggest combined loss on all markets offered for that event.
5. South Korea vs. Algeria - FIFA World Cup 2014
Algeria’s win against South Korea at the 2014 World Cup stands out on this list as some people may expect that it wouldn’t be very popular from a betting perspective. However, it’s important to remember that those who make money from betting don’t necessarily bet on the most popular games, they bet when they believe the odds don’t reflect the true probability of an event occurring.
The odds for this match were initially set before the tournament began with South Korea the favourites at 2.28, Algeria available at 3.66 and the draw set at 3.24. After the opening round of fixtures (where Algeria lost 2-1 to Belgium and South Korea drew 1-1 with Russia) the odds barely moved (they were still very similar to the opening mark by the time the game kicked-off).
Even the world’s sharpest bookmaker can make a loss on certain events but bettors should remember it’s about success in the long-term, not just a one-off win.
A flurry of goals between the 26th and 38th minute saw Algeria storm into a three-goal lead. Son Heung-min pulled a goal back for South Korea before Brahimi added another for Algeria. Koo Ja-Cheol did make the score 4-2 with 15 minutes to go but it was sadly too little too late for the South Koreans.
Pinnacle ultimately got stung across the board in terms of the markets on offer for this match as the 1X2 and Handicap bets on Algeria returned as a win, with the overs in the Total Goals market sailing in before half time. All in all, the outcome of this match resulted in a huge seven-figure loss for Pinnacle.
4. Spain vs. Netherlands - FIFA World Cup 2014
The Netherlands were a World Cup powerhouse back in the 1970’s and 80’s. Despite their struggles in recent years, a victory over Spain wouldn’t go down as a huge surprise. However, no one saw a 5-1 demolition coming in Group B’s opening fixture at the 2014 World Cup.
Opening odds of 2.06 for Spain compared to 3.39 for the Netherlands (and 4.09 on the draw) shows that Pinnacle’s traders believed Spain’s quality would show. The Total Goals mark of 2 goals in the build up to the match also shows that the betting market seemed to be favouring a low-scoring match.
Initially, Pinnacle’s faith in Spain was rewarded as a Xabi Alonso put Vicente del Bosque’s side 1-0 up from the penalty spot on 27 minutes. From then on, the Spanish defence crumbled (along with Pinnacle’s hopes of making a profit) as the Netherlands scored four goals in 25 second half minutes before adding the fifth and final nail in Pinnacle’s coffin on 80 minutes through Arjen Robben.
While the Netherlands win wasn’t a great result for Pinnacle, when combined with the Handicap bets and all the winning customers on Over 2 goals at 1.813 it really was a disastrous day and another seven-figure loss for the world’s sharpest bookmaker.
3. Belgium vs. England - FIFA World Cup 2018
Given that Pinnacle’s two previous biggest losses came back in 2014, you could be forgiven for thinking that things had changed in recent years and the bookmaker no longer suffered such devastating results. Fortunately for customers, that isn’t the case. During this year’s World Cup, Pinnacle suffered its third biggest loss on a single event.
The third placed play-off of a World Cup is often quickly forgotten but Pinnacle certainly won’t be forgetting Belgium’s 2-0 win over England in a hurry. After the two met in Group G’s dead rubber two weeks prior (which Belgium won 1-0), many were anticipating this match would be more fiercely contested. Belgium opened as 2.23 favourites, England at 3.35 and the draw 3.66. The Totals Goals was set fairly high at 3.
Plenty of bettors were quick to jump on these odds as Belgium shortened in the market and the Total Goals figured dropped to 2.75 by the time kick-off came around. Belgium ended up celebrating a third place finish in the World Cup and while England could still feel proud of their achievements, not much could be done to soften the blow of paying out huge amounts of money that Pinnacle had suffered.
2. France vs. Switzerland - UEFA European Championships 2016
After success on home soil at the 1998 World Cup, France would have been confident heading into Euro 2016 as the hosts (they were priced at 4.17 in the outright market before the tournament begun). After two wins in the opening group games (2-1 vs. Romania and 2-0 vs. Albania) France looked like a genuine contender to go all the way.
All of the events featured in this list are high profile and it’s probably easier to beat a bookmaker in more niche markets where you may have superior knowledge or valuable information.
In the final round of group games, France came up against a Switzerland side with a draw guaranteeing both sides would progress to the Round of 16. The host nation opened as favourites for the match (1.633) with their opponents priced at 5.95 (the draw was 4.01). Despite what was at stake, Pinnacle set the Total Goals mark at 2.5 with the under only slightly favoured at 1.926 compared to the over (1.952).
It seems the draw was not only beneficial to both France and Switzerland, but also to Pinnacle’s customers. Bettors who took the under on 2.5 goals would have also had reason to celebrate as although Paul Pogba and Dimitri Payet hit the woodwork for France, Switzerland failed to register a shot on target in the match and the match ended goalless.
Although it was a dull match, it would have been an eventful spectacle for bettors, with a large portion of them having reason to celebrate at the final whistle. This clearly wasn’t the case for Pinnacle as one single game made a huge dent in its European Championship profits.
1. Italy vs. Spain - UEFA European Championships 2016
In a replay of the 2012 European Championships final, Italy met Spain in the 2016 tournament at the Round of 16 stage. Much like the previous meeting at the Euro 2012, Spain opened as the favourite at 2.19 while Italy were the underdogs at 4.21 (the draw was available at 3.06). Few goals were expected with the Total Goals set at 2 and the under priced at 1.725.
Antonio Conte’s side managed to get their revenge for their defeat four years prior after Giorgio Chiellini opened the scoring on 33 minutes and Graziano Pelle added a second in added time. Despite dominating possession and creating plenty of chances, Spain couldn’t break down the solid Italian defence and save Pinnacle’s skin.
Previous form and results would have had many thinking that this match was Spain’s for the taking but there were undone by a very disciplined Italy side. The fact that this match has gone down in history as Pinnacle’s biggest loss shows that not only did Pinnacle get the odds wrong, but many customers were sharp enough to pick up on it.
Pinnacle will still likely wince at the thought of this game and the money flooding out as the minutes continued to tick over until the full time whistle was blown. To this day, still over two years later, the Italy vs. Spain match at the 2016 European Championships is the biggest loss ever suffered by the bookmaker.
What can bettors learn from Pinnacle’s biggest losses?
Although a bookmaker’s aim is to “balance the books”when taking bets on an event to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome, there are plenty of occasions when that doesn’t happen. This could be because the bookmaker takes a “position” (favours one outcome more than another and is willing to risk more money on it) or bettors take advantage of early odds or new information before it reaches the market.
Even the world’s sharpest bookmaker can make a loss on certain events but bettors should remember it’s about success in the long-term, not just a one-off win. It doesn’t matter how much you win or lose on an individual bet, your process should remain the same if you want to make a consistent profit from betting.
All of the events featured in this list are high profile and while it’s probably easier to beat a bookmaker in more niche markets where you may have superior knowledge or more valuable information, the sheer number of people betting on the likes of the World Cup and European Championship is the reason why they are Pinnacle’s biggest losses.