A Syndicate led by Colossus Captain Vuoksenmaa – ESBC converted £18 into an almighty four-figure win over the weekend, by conquering the Rollover 1X2 Pick 8 pool. 32,977 units entered the £44,626 jackpot pool, with Vuoksenmaa and his 36 line ticket playing for a quarter of the huge total.
The action began on Friday evening when Arsenal hosted Everton. Vuoksenmaa had opposed the notoriously flakey Gunners by selecting a draw or an away win, a decision which proved justified when a Bernd Leno own goal gave The Toffees the win.
Onto Saturday’s Premier League action, the next three legs appeared daunting with a single selection chosen in each. First up came Liverpool vs. Newcastle, with a predicted draw perhaps reflecting the ongoing struggles of the defending Premier League champions this season.
Mo Salah gave the home side the lead in the third minute and, at that point, it seemed as though it could be a long afternoon for Steve Bruce. But Newcastle didn’t give up and came back into the match in the second half.
Liverpool clung on but, in injury time, Allan Saint-Maximin played Callum Wilson through on goal with the Newcastle forward attempting to chip the ball over Alisson. The Brazilian blocked the ball which rebounded into Wilson and, from him, towards the goal. Acting on instinct, Wilson swiped the ball into the Liverpool goal, surely giving the Syndicate a late reprieve and earning Newcastle a draw.
However, they must have been crestfallen when a VAR review judged that the ball had hit Wilson’s arm and was deemed to be a handball as a result. It seemed as though Liverpool had enjoyed a slice of luck but, remarkably, that wasn’t the end of the story.
Two minutes later, Newcastle substitute Joe Willock received the ball unmarked in the box, turned and lashed the ball home. This one would not be ruled out and the Syndicate, incredibly, were through to the third leg of the Pick 8 right at the death.
After just two legs, 32,977 units had already been whittled down to 1,111 and things improved further for Vuoksenmaa with wins for Chelsea and Sheffield United. Just 98 units remained halfway through the pool and with far greater coverage across the remaining legs, Sunday promised to be a great day for the Syndicate.
The opening leg, Wolves vs. Burnley, saw the Syndicate hoping for any result bar a home win. Burnley duly obliged with a victory but nobody anticipated the astonishing 4-0 scoreline that followed. It was one which reduced the remaining units by a further 75%.
In the 6th leg of the Pick 8, Leeds vs. Manchester United, the Syndicate were able to relax as they had covered all three options. It was another extremely positive result for them, however, with a 0-0 draw once again reducing the remaining units.
With all three options covered in the eight and final leg, it was the seventh match in the Pick 8 pool, the Carabao Cup final between Manchester City and Tottenham, which was the last remaining stumbling block. If City could win their fourth straight League Cup within 90 minutes, the Vuoksenmaa Syndicate would conquer the pool.
The game was not a classic and, at half time, remained goalless leading to Vuoksenmaa cashing out 10% of their ticket for £406 to guarantee a healthy profit regardless of the final result. However, they need not have worried as City’s relentless domination of the competition would continue with Aymeric Laporte scoring an 82nd minute winner to claim the trophy and land the pool for the Syndicate.
They watched on as Aston Villa and Leicester played out and exciting 2-2 draw in the final leg but were well aware that the money was already in the bank and, as the final whistle blew, just 0.94 units remained in the Pick 8 pool.
Vuoksenmaa and his seven person Syndicate had sensationally turned £18 into into £9,624, a 534x return. What a ticket!
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