My bet on Yanukovych in the Ukrainian election was successful, but I still haven't gotten a payout from Intrade because Ms. Tymoshenko is acting like a sore loser, suing the victor and refusing to let the people finally forget her ridiculous hairstyle. In the meantime I noticed that I could bet on the Oscars in such a way that I'd win money regardless of whether Best Picture goes to Avatar or to Hurt Locker. If Avatar contracts are selling for $47 and Hurt Locker contracts for $44, the market is saying that the rest of the field has a 9% chance of winning. But that's obviously wrong - the real probability of any movie besides Avatar and Hurt Locker winning the Best Pic category is zilch. Oscar voting is like an election and this year all the movies besides Avatar and Hurt Locker are like the Libertarian, Socialist Workers', Green, etc. parties. So I went out and bought an equal number of Avatar and Hurt Locker contracts. Now I'll get around $30 no matter who wins.
In a riskier transaction, I bet on Tiger Woods coming back to golf before the middle of this year. My impression is that Tiger is a very disciplined, conscientious fellow. Why wouldn't he want to go back to work quickly? Unfortunately now that I actually bet some money on this, I can see lots of reasons - he could have gotten out of practice and could need months of training to regain his edge, the doping rumors may turn out to be true, etc. I really hope I haven't goofed here because if Tiger doesn't come back before July 1st, I'll lose more than $200 on him.