The Longshot: Flat out the best flipping tips you'll get today

The Longshot: Flat out the best flipping tips you'll get today

On the flip side: Where our tipster tells you how to make some dough.

AS I TYPE these words I can see out of the corner of my eye the over-sized Valentine’s card I received this day last week from my ever-thoughtful wife. Each time I spot it, it summons up regret that I responded to her heart-dappled piece of cardboard that had a schmaltzy sentiment printed in fancy italics inside with an e-card rather than a physical one.

This wasn’t ‘romantic enough’, it was adjudged (although I assumed it was at least more traditional than a social media post). Cue a drive down to the garage that evening to purchase one, along with flowers and a National Geographic (as a present to myself for the day that was in it).

Fair to say that in the week since the relationship has been less cosy than the one DJ Carey had with AIB. So it’s time to make up for my astounding insensitivity and as luck would have it, the opportunity presents itself today and I’ll be going flat out and won’t be sparing any dough in making things up. She loves pancakes and I don’t think any readers at all will be surprised to read that I am very good at making them.

Although Shrove Tuesday may originally have been a day to remember the massacre of the Shroves by the Romans, it is best known now for frying what the French call crepes, so we can prepare for Lent and use up all fat, eggs and dairy products that fill our fridge, just like Jesus did all those years ago.

While I do like pancakes, one is now more than enough to fill me these days and it is the razzmatazz and ritual that goes along with preparing them that delights me. By ritual, I mean, of course, flipping.

Now before you all go “Isn’t this meant to be a tipping page, nobody mentioned anything about flipping”, the sports editor is on holidays so I can probably type what I want. Also, let your eye wander around the rest of the page and it will no doubt fall on reasonable sporting predictions.

Some people take a very casual attitude to the whole issue of flipping a pancake. This is sad because it is a unique skill, a skill, however, that once mastered, will bring many years of enjoyment.

Once learned, it usually only takes a weekend of practice before the big day to refresh your memory and get that arm working again. But let’s say you are in the kitchen waiting for an egg to boil in deepest winter; it’ll do no harm to get out that frying pan and do a few practice flips (I use a computer mousepad as a stand-in pancake).

Two things before we get down to the brass tacks of pancake-tossing (tossing, flipping, it doesn’t really matter what you call it, it’s all throwing fried dairy into the air and catching it again.)

1) I’ve heard some nonsense that left-handed people cannot flip. This is just what I’ve said it is: nonsense. Left-handed people can do almost all things that us normal people can do and that includes flipping. 2) A word of warning: never let kids under the age of 12 near the frying pan.

Once, while acting as the responsible adult in a kitchen, I allowed a small child to toss the pancake. Although it may seem amusing now, at the time, no one was laughing when the pancake landed on his head

Before starting, I like to dab a little bit of flour onto my cheeks, forehead and nose-tip. This helps you get into the role of being a chef, but also, flour will have accumulated on the palms, and that’s going to be a big help in the gripping procedure.

Before you can start flipping, of course, you must make sure your grip is right. A lot of people may favour the one-handed grip. This, I think, should be left to more experienced flippers. The best grip for a beginner or intermediate is always a double-handed grip with interlocking fingers. Try this now. If the intersection of the thumb and forefinger of your leading hand are forming a V-shape, then you’ve got it. Just imagine you’re putting a tricky three-footer on the 18th into the sky.

Now, in attempting the flip, never take your eye off the pancake. Not on the pan, not on the hob, but on the pancake. The flip action is then all in the wrist. A short, sharp flick upwards should have the pancake airborne. Follow through with the pan (not taking your eye off the pancake, remember) and within a split-second your dinner should be making its descent back to the utensil that is coming up to meet it.

The most important consideration in pancake-tossing is getting the pan-to-ceiling distance ratio correct. Never let the pancake hit the ceiling, because you don’t know what sort of food might have been up there before.

That’s it. Fingers crossed (not while gripping the pan of course) that when my beloved says “˜you’re some tosser” this evening the sentiment will come from a very different place.

Why giving a toss about the ‘Martingale method’ doesn’t quite coin it

FURTHER to the above, it’s not exactly fair to say that tossing has no place in gambling.

Coin-tossing is gambling at its most basic. Even the most prudish of killjoys when it comes to filling out a docket might agree to call head or harp to prompt an immediate decision.

The other activity that involves tossing can only be performed by men wearing skirts. Burly Scottish men upending larch trunks while wearing dresses is a sport that receives modest coverage on this side of the Irish Sea, but once you have seen one caber-tossing tournament you will never look at a telephone pole in the same way again.

While throwing a caber takes years to master and the intricacies of flipping a pancake can just about be learned in one afternoon, anyone with a coin of greater denomination than 10 cents (too light) can partake in a proposition bet. Bear in mind a few things if you are caught in a coin-propulsion situation: the number one is that the result is not 50-50. If a coin is tossed and caught, it has a 51% chance of landing on the same face it was launched on.

If a coin is spun on a table, it will likely have an even larger than 50% chance of ending with the heavier side down (use sellotape perhaps).

At the beginning of a Super Bowl, there is a coin toss where the winning team decides whether they will kick or receive the ball. One of the reasons the Super Bowl coin toss has captured bettors’ imaginations is that from 1998 to 2011, the NFC recorded 14 consecutive wins The winner of the coin toss once lost eight consecutive Super Bowls (Kansas bucked that trend recently). Also, 52% of teams who win the toss in the NFL go on to win their game.

However, it is worth pointing out one misleading gambling notion that far too many people are convinced will work even in general sports betting: the Martingale method’. Let’s explain why it does not.

Say you put one euro on a toss being heads. This bet can obviously do one of two things: win or lose. If you win, the system wasn’t needed and you made some money. It is only once you lose the Martingale system is supposed to kick in. If you lose, you must then double your original bet the next time. Once again, if you win here, the system is over. However, if you lose this doubled bet, the method is triggered again. Your third bet is to be twice the size of your second bet and four times the size of your first bet. You can never lose, right? Because every toss is 50-50 (or even 51-49)?

The simplest way to explain how it can is that in 1913 in a Monte Carlo casino a roulette ball fell on black 26 times in a row. If you got 43 coin tosses wrong making such bets you’d be heading towards owing something in the region of the US national debt.

It's Lowry’s time to shine

SHANE Lowry finished tied for 14th in the Genesis Open over the weekend and this uptick in form should have him confident heading into the Honda Classic, which he probably should have won last year if the weather hadn’t turned so bad during his finishing holes.

After finishing one shot behind Austiran Sepp Straka, he claimed he felt like the tournament had been “stolen” from him.

He has never missed the cut at the PGA National course and although it doesn’t favour wedge play (one of the Offaly man’s strengths) the burning injustice he had after last year’s near-miss there, the good form that he is returning to, and the lack of bigger names in action means that he is our choice to win there at 16/1.

Pool prospects for revenge

THE City-Arsenal game last week somewhat overshadowed the return of the Champions League.

Only one of this week’s fixtures would really have you anticipating no-holds-barred entertainment: tonight’s repeat of last year’s decider, when Real Madrid travel to Anfield.

Liverpool look to have turned a bit of a corner with Darwin Nunez no longer a comedic tour-de-force when anywhere within 30 yards of the goalposts, and Virgil van Dijk’s return has seen them keep two clean sheets.

They are 5/4 to win but we’d opt for Allison (magnificent as usual against Newcastle) stopping Real from scoring and Liverpool winning to nil at 18/5.

The Bet

AFTER our four-timer last week was scuppered by VAR and some woeful finishing by Chelsea (will they ever score again?) we’ll chance another one on the Champions League action.

Napoli remain the best side in Europe and should make short work of Frankfurt away.

Man City should also breeze past the other German underdogs Leipzig. As already advised above, Liverpool can beat Real and Inter-Porto will be a draw. Back it at 35/1.

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