A Mug’s Game?

I’m not a gambling man – A comment I relay not out of self-righteousness, moreover to explain it’s a pastime that doesn’t provide me with the buzz it does many others. This being the case even if my punt bares fruit.

With the exception of a few quid bet with course-side bookie at a race meeting, along with a gamble on the annual Grand National, borne more from family tradition than want, I tend not to engage with bookmakers.

Yesterday, I was reminded of this indifference to place a wager when an acquaintance proffered “I bet you’re enjoying watching all the World Cup football games, Gary.” As I’m so indifferent about football these days, I whimsically responded I’d hoped they’d not made that bet with a bookie. Supporting my quip with the fact that thus far I’d only made the effort to watch one full match (England 6-1 Panama).

They were merely words of whimsy as, despite contemporary gambling companies offering numerous different permutations/bets, I’m pretty sure Paddy Power or his mucker Bet Fred wouldn’t accept a wager of “Can I bet £50 on the fact Gary Strachan is enjoying watching the World Cup?” For one thing, it’s too subjective and easy to fixed.

As alluded to above, this narrative is not a swipe at people who recklessly gamble, or indeed the seemingly ever burgeoning betting industry. Politics is something I attempt to give a wide berth in my blogs, also I’ve seen first hand the selfishness, disloyalty, lies and misery created by a gambling addiction.

On a more light-hearted note, several months back I wrote a narrative about betting strategies. Within this prose was a method for selecting horses I thought I’d re-share:-

…….. I know someone (I’ll call him Doctor X) who uses his penis to select a prospective winner from his race card. The success rate of his format is erratic at best. Unlike his arrest rate while attempting to place his bet with course side bookmaker, is very consistent.

Doctor X’s approach is quite obviously foolhardy, providing him with no real gain. After all, even if he manages to place a bet and the horse wins all it does is cover his bail money following arrest for indecent exposure…….

The above throwback paragraph’s were quite obviously fictional, however within that monologue I spoke of a betting strategy my wife adopted at York races which was predominantly true. Those paragraphs told of the following piece of good fortune:-

…… My wife Karen’s endearing quirk at occasionally omitting a letter from a person’s surname, or adding one that shouldn’t be included, paid dividends for the wee lady. In the penultimate race she announced she was going to back Fleur Forsyte, as her tribute to entertainer Sir Bruce Forsyte (she meant Forsyth) who passed away last weekend.

When it romped home at 10/1, Karen’s £5 win stake on the horse with a moniker that nearly matched Sir Bruce’s surname netted her £50. While she basked in the glory of her win by taunting course side bookies with lewd gestures and a disparaging song about ferrets, her winning strategy set me pondering.

Could it be possible there exists a science underpinning her unknowingly miss-spelt celebrity surnames? An unscientific method providing it’s user with dominion over bookmakers?

I somehow doubted it, however I’ve made a mental note if I see a racecard with the names of other individuals she endearingly labels incorrectly, eg Paul Wellings (Weller), String (Sting), John Legen (Legend), Jasper Conway (Conran) and Paul McCartridge (McCartney), I may have a cheeky little punt.

hoss jockey


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