Nobody Said it Was Gonna be Easy
I was chatting with Jesse May at the hotel bar in Cardiff, where we both were working on the Celebrity Poker Club. We reflected on the fact that the studios that we were working in were where we first met six years ago at the first Late Night Poker. We both agreed that to be a successful gambler, you must constantly adapt and create new sources of income, as nothing stays the same. This is certainly true about the way I bet on horses. Now, with the introduction of the betting exchanges, I can sit in my office surrounded by computers, televisions, and my videotapes. It’s a far cry from when I traveled around the country just to get a bet on.
The place of choice back then was governed by where the best poker tournament was being held. We then had to find an area to bet in that fitted all of our needs. There had to be a street with at least two betting shops, so if we were refused a bet, we could run around the corner. This became easier when everyone had a mobile phone and I had a crew of people with me. There also had to be a bank, for obvious reasons. And as no gambler goes out believing he will lose, there needed to be a secure, well-lit car park should we be carrying large amounts of cash.
One particular time, I was in the south of England after finding out about a regular no-limit tournament, as UK cardrooms had previously restricted their games to pot-limit only. We had found a great daytime base with five betting shops all within walking distance of each other. On the first day, I went into an independent betting shop and promptly lost £10,000. Just so the owner wouldn’t think that I was a professional punter, I sent someone else in to bet the next day. There were jam doughnuts, sausage rolls, and filter coffee on the tables, with the regulars eagerly encouraging everyone that they were free. After placing his first bet, my friend commented to the owner how well he treated his punters. Looking up from his holiday brochure, the owner said some mug punter had dropped a fortune the day before. Sitting back down, my friend told the other punters to make the most of the free food. Now, some good friends of mine in the poker world are bookmakers, but I didn’t know this guy who was so eager to tell everyone of my losses. So, I was more than pleased when, by the end of the day, the bookmaker was arranging weekly installments to pay off the £35,000 he now owed us.
Some of the major poker pkv games online chains began to recognize me and had copies of my handwriting. But I could change my handwriting, so we then had to come up with a believable disguise. Dressed in a fluorescent workers waistcoat, a hard hat, and boots, I was the foreman of the team working across the road on a hotel. My phone would ring and, making sure I was standing by the betting counter, I would answer, saying, “Yes, the scaffolding is in place and I am just going to collect the wages.” I must have been convincing, because the lady behind the counter asked if I could find her son some work.
But gamblers have no concept of money. One time, to help us get around, I bought some secondhand bicycles, with the owner agreeing to buy them back. The bikes were so comfortable that we decided to keep them, and we drove all the way home just to collect a van to bring them back in. When we returned, all that was left of the bikes was the sawed-off chain next to the railings. To add to our troubles, the van broke down and cost £400 to be fixed. Driving away from the garage, our van was in worse condition than when it had gone in, but I was in no position to argue, as the mechanic pointed out that the van was full of red diesel, with several more full containers in the back. I left, but not before noting the garage’s phone number. Using the registration plates of the cars in front of me, I spent the journey home ringing the garage to send out a tow truck to all those cars.
The only reason we were coming home after spending three months living in a hotel was because of the outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, when all the race meetings were abandoned. I’m still considering claiming for compensation, as it wasn’t just the farmers’ livelihoods that were affected! ´