Daniel Gould Tribute

Dec 20, 2018 by

Daniel Gould Tribute

This site has given me a platform since 2009 to offer my thoughts on the tv betting market du jour. That all pales into insignificance right now, and the trading life feels utterly trivial on hearing the devastating news of Daniel Gould’s death.

I would like to offer the following personal tribute to Daniel, who passed away on December 14.

My friendship with Daniel began in 2012. By a strange quirk of fate we both launched websites focusing on tv betting analysis around the same time without knowing one another. I would later discover other connections between us. We both came from a journalist background and had a love of horse racing, along with other sport. We both shunned the office, 9 to 5 existence to become full-time traders.

It was in 2012 I met Daniel in person for the first time and immediately struck up a great rapport with him. Over the years that have passed since, our friendship grew stronger.

For me, 2012 in Baku was a baptism of fire. It was my first Eurovision foray in the press centre for rehearsal fortnight. I was Billy No Mates and Daniel was kind enough to be my guide, generously giving his time and sharing his knowledge. I shadowed him throughout the 2 weeks, seeking his advice on market positions. Over the years I have witnessed Daniel selflessly give his time to anyone and everyone who approached him in the ESC press centre. Just one of the things that set him apart.

Daniel was the pioneer of Eurovision trading, attending Dusseldorf the year before, the lone professional trader in attendance back then. In 2013, we became a three with Gavin Lambert (esctips.com) joining the fray in Malmo. In 2015 we were joined by Panos Zannettos in Vienna. Tim Booth added to the trading crew in Stockholm in 2016. And so our numbers have slowly increased. ‘If you build it, they will come’.

Daniel was also an innovator and original thinker in forging the language of tv betting, and how these shows have come to be viewed. His encyclopaedic knowledge of Eurovision was breathtaking to behold. As were his analytical skills, forensically dissecting historical voting stats and casting an expert, critical eye over staging.

It’s a very special bond you forge doing what we do. It is a mentally taxing, intense, fraught and stressful business. In the heat of battle he was a reassuring presence; a voice of reason always able to maintain a cool, calm head.

Daniel was always there for us all, helping keep spirits up, sharing anecdotes of Eurovisions past, laughing at the sheer absurdity of our perilous existence, recalling an ESC song from a previous year to look up on YouTube. This was one Daniel particularly loved and the staging amused him greatly, going straight into his ‘How Not To Stage A Eurovision Song’ handbook:

We are a renegade bunch, kindred spirits in the sense we are willing to put a lot of money on the line backing our opinions. I think, as is the case for me, this helped make Daniel feel alive. And there was no one more fearless than Daniel taking a position on a market. When a market opportunity appeared, we would often share the spoils. Just a small symbol of Daniel’s generosity.

Daniel loved to speculate on the dark arts. Slot 13 was forever christened the Dami Im memorial slot. An annual joke, which always elicited a ‘love it’ and a guffaw from Daniel, was the notion of raiding the stage during the draw for grand final 1st half/2nd half running order positions, grabbing the perspex bowl and attempting to prove the fix was in, only to be dragged away kicking and screaming by security staff as they applied the strait-jacket.

After news broke of Bulgaria’s withdrawal this year. I joked with Daniel that he probably single-handedly bankrupted the delegation, given the market positions he built up, taking on ‘Bones’ by Equinox. We were in recent contact with each other, looking forward to Tel Aviv next year.

He was the kindest, politest, most generous soul you could ever wish to meet and a true gentleman. Erudite, eloquent and with the sharpest of minds.

Conversation always flowed with Daniel. It was a privilege and a joy to sit alongside him in the press centre. We chatted together about everything and nothing. He was on my wavelength with his irreverent take on life and subversive sense of humour. He sent a picture of himself on the Brexit march in London alongside a woman holding a placard which read, ‘How will we win Eurovision now?’

I know Daniel earned his income from trading to allow him to live the life he wanted to live. He earned a living on his terms, doing what he loved to fund a lifestyle that made him happy, travelling and visiting friends all over the world for the remainder of the year. This is the only consolation I can find, if there is one.

Daniel was such an effervescent presence, it is hard now to even contemplate attending future Eurovisions. Eurovision without Daniel will simply never be the same. What I will miss most are the great chats, laughing together, and going through the ESC trading experience together.

He was such a wonderful ally, confidant and most of all, a very dear friend. I will miss him terribly and I can only pass on my sincere condolences to his family and his closest friends at this difficult time.

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  1. Matt

    Thanks for writing this Rob. I only knew Daniel through the internet, but every time I reached out to him he was so kind and generous with his time. Nothing I can add to your words but the ESC trading bubble won’t be the same without him. RIP Daniel and my condolences to all who knew him.

  2. Stu

    A nice tribute Rob, we all walk this strange betting world together, and it’s so sad to lose a good one like this.

  3. M8

    A lovely tribute to a lovely man. I can’t add much more to that. Life can be so awfully cruel at times, be sure to appreciate and cherish every moment with your loved ones not just at this time of the year, but every day. Thoughts are with you Rob along with the rest of Daniel’s friends and of course all his family.


  4. Showlad

    Thanks for your heartfelt tribute Rob.
    This ESC won’t be the same without the great man of Eurovision odds.
    I exchanged some emails with him too, as well as commenting on Sofabet and he was always the measured, kind, thoughtful gent.
    On a betting level I think the greatest thing Daniel taught us all was with somethimng as emotive as a song, still to try remain objective and detached from your own personal tastes in music.
    On a human level he was insightful, with a delicious dry humour and seems, crucially, to have been loved by and to have touched many.
    Seize that day everyone and when we think of Daniel this ESC, smile and raise a glass 🙂 🙂

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