The Day Nick Mordin Called My Brother

The Day Nick Mordin Called My Brother
Nick Mordin has always been a punctual man. 

Well, that's the impression I got when he called my brother! 

Back in 1994, Tony, my twin brother had concluded the biggest study in the world about Group-entered two-year-old thoroughbred race horses in the United Kingdom. He had sent a brief outline to Nick Mordin about this five-year study asking if he wanted to use it for his Sporting Life Weekender Systems. 

Mordin called him and they chatted on the phone for a good half an hour. He was intrigued by the research because it was original. No one had ever investigated such findings and the research was groundbreaking.  The discussion concluded with Mordin seeking permission to write a couple of articles based on the research. My brother, surprising to some, granted him the approval, contrary to the usual inclination of keeping such valuable data confidential.

He's the classic sharing guy. 

Approximately a month later, an article titled: "In A Class of their Own: How to Spot Top-Notch Two-year-olds" appeared in the Sporting Life’s Weekender, a double-page spread released every Wednesday. Such was its popularity, that Mordin did a followed-up the next week focusing on improving the utilization of the data. 

To this day, individuals have recalled the article positively, suggesting it may have been one of Mordin's finest works.

Nick Mordin consistently demonstrated a professional approach to horse racing data and research, resulting in the creation of four publications based on his success. 

My brother and I acquired three out of the four publications. I plan to purchase "Winning Without Thinking: A Guide to Horse Racing Betting Systems," published by Aesculus Press Limited in 2003.

Very few people remember that Nick Mordin was a professional gambler for a period of time. So he definitely put his money where his mouth is and made his betting pay.

I've just started to re-read "Mordin On Time" published by Aesculus Press Limited in 1996. According to the blurb, the book promises insights into making thousands of pounds from horse race betting using the explained speed ratings.

Comprising 18 chapters and spanning 128 pages, the book centers around the maxim: 'Why time is the best measure of a horse, and how to use it.' I plan to revisit this book in the coming days.

This book has become a rarity among horse racing enthusiasts, I've noted it being offered for sale at £80. Although my brother's notes are scattered throughout the pages, potentially diminishing its value, however, the content remains as insightful as ever. "Mordin On Time" proves to be a timeless read. (Pardon he pun).

Mordin has slipped off the radar with regard to his publications or articles in esteemed sports media. 

However, he is a noted authority in this field and someone who is sorely missed. 

His Systems in the Sporting Life Weekender are missed by punters to this day. 

It was a special moment for my brother to work with Mordin and if he is reading this he wishes his all the best. 

Photos: J.Coote (2023) 

Dave Nevison Gambling Publications: A Bloody Good Winner & No Easy Money

I have always held a deep admiration for Dave Nevison, one of the earliest modern-day professional gamblers who captured my interest. This admiration stemmed largely from his published works, which regaled incredible gambling stories infused with wisdom, humor, and a life lived on the precipice.

Hailing originally from Halifax, West Yorkshire, Nevison inherited the gambling bug from his grandfather. If you haven't delved into his literary offerings, you are in for a treat with the captivating narratives they unfold.

"A Bloody Good Winner: Life as a Professional Gambler," published by Highdown in June 2008 and co-authored with the award-winning David Ashworth, is a masterpiece that weaves magic into its prose. The book chronicles Nevison's plunge into professional gambling in 1993. Encouraged by his wife to pursue his dream after growing disenchanted with his City career in foreign exchange and futures trading, he utilized a redundancy package and savings to establish a betting bank of £50,000. The journey that ensues, as he makes a living backing horses, is a roller-coaster ride of highs and lows. This delightful literary concoction blends gambling, humor, and an unreserved account of a man who triumphed over the bookies at their own game.

Nevison's second offering, "No Easy Money: A Gambler’s Diary," published by the Racing Post in 2008, provides a contrasting narrative. With a no-holds-barred approach, the book details his life on the road, traveling to racecourses across the country. Starting at the 2008 Cheltenham Festival and concluding with the St Leger, the story revolves around his aim to make £1 million. The book is an emotional roller-coaster, offering a gritty portrayal of the ups and downs of the gambling world.

After almost two decades as a professional gambler, Nevison transitioned to a new chapter in 2005, joining Racing TV as a Horseracing Television Presenter, Pundit, and Columnist. His expert knowledge, relaxed demeanor, and humor have established him as one of the leading hosts on the show.

In recent years, Nevison has faced health challenges related to diabetes, rendering him wheelchair-bound. Nevertheless, he persists in his work, remaining a steadfast friend to punters.... For those with an appetite for more gambling tales, other noteworthy reads include:

Alex Bird: The Life and Secrets of a Professional Punter (1986) 
Be A Successful Punter: With Fineform as Your Guide (1988) 
Bull: The Biography (1995) 
Against The Crowd: The Methods of a Modern Backer (1995) 
Enemy Number One: The Secret of the UK’s Most Feared Professional Punter (2010) 
The Sure Thing: The Greatest Coup in Horse Racing History (2015) 
Gambling for Life: Harry Findlay (2017)

Photo: J.Coote (2023)

What A Carry On: Sid James Compulsive Gambler

What A Carry On: Sid James Compulsive Gambler
Indeed, in this contemporary epoch, one might discern a certain audacity in their ribald innuendo and a smattering of bygone sexism. Spanning the cultural landscape from 1958 to 1992, the Carry On franchise unfurled a cinematic tapestry of 31 uproarious films. The aegis of production rested firmly in the hands of Peter Rogers, under the deft directorial stewardship of Gerald Thomas. A constellation of stalwart performers, including the irrepressible Kenneth Williams, the inimitable Charles Hawtrey, the vivacious Barbara Windsor, and the charismatic Sid James, graced these cinematic capers.

Among the opulent tapestry of mirth, 'Carry On At Your Convenience,' crafted in 1971, holds a special place in my affections. Sid James, assuming the role of Sid Plummer, toiled in the lavatorial labyrinth of WC Boggs' factory during a tumultuous era of industrial strife. Imprinted in my memory is the film's thematic gambol, as Plummer's pet budgie, Joey (seen in photo), uncannily tipped winning horses until the unceremonious closure of his account by Benny The Bookie, a turf accountant of repute.

Plummer, with a wry quip, queried Benny: 'What kind of sportsman are you?'.

Benny, nonchalant, retorted: 'If I were a sportsman, I'd be riding the horse!'

It appears that Sid James, the masterful thespian, was also a man who courted the capricious fates of gambling with fearless ardor.

Fond of wagering on the equine denizens of the racetrack, James, alas, grappled with the affliction of gambling addiction, his fortune seldom tethered to the chariot of success. A lavish sum, reaching into the tens of thousands, clandestinely found its way into the coffers of bookmakers over his lifetime. So entrenched was he in this perilous pursuit that he beseeched his agent, Michael Sullivan, to veil the true extent of his earnings from his spouse, shielding her from the gnawing truth of his wagers.

Notorious for his parsimony, James often found himself in the throes of indebtedness or embroiled in wagers on purported 'sure things.' His penchant for Cutty Sark whisky, a libation that flowed freely due to its 'complimentary' nature, added another layer to his charismatic mystique.

In the annals of colloquial lore, Sid James emerges as a connoisseur of life's three 'Bs': Booze, Birds, and Betting. A gentleman whose predilections were as conspicuous as they were legendary.

The shrewd James, ever vigilant for the next windfall, navigated the labyrinthine corridors of cash transactions, evading both the taxman's discerning eye and the watchful gaze of a suspicious spouse. With an artful finesse, he orchestrated the placement of whisky brands on set and wove unscripted mentions into broadcasts to procure coveted cases of the amber elixir.

In the pantheon of Carry On luminaries, Sid James adorned 20 films with his inimitable presence. Regrettably, the curtain fell on this consummate entertainer's life on the 26th of April 1976, leaving behind a legacy of laughter and a trail of anecdotes that continue to regale aficionados of the comedic arts. Aged 62, Sid James departed the stage, but his indomitable spirit and roguish charm endure, eternally captured in the celluloid reels of mirth and mayhem."

Photo: Pixabay (free)

Harry Findlay: A High-Stakes Journey

Harry Findlay: A High-Stakes Journey
In 2017, Sport Media published Neil Harman's book, "Harry Findlay: Gambling For Life," delving into the life of a polarizing figure who evokes either love or disdain, much like the divisive spread Marmite. As I progressed through the pages chronicling 'The Man Who Won Millions And Spent Every Penny,' my initial reservations softened, and I found myself captivated by the audacity and recklessness that defined Findlay's gambling odyssey.

While there are numerous books by professional gamblers chronicling their exploits in poker, few in the United Kingdom can match Findlay's larger-than-life adventures. His fearlessness, bordering on insanity in the eyes of some, led to unimaginable stress, such as the day he lost £100,000 betting on five odds-on shots at Hexham—all ending in defeat. Another memorable incident involved selling his house to Tony Bloom for £100,000, entangling himself in a convoluted cricket bet that left him hoping for nothing more than a breakeven outcome. The book unfolds like a roller coaster ride with stories so outlandish that Findlay must have felt trapped on a journey he couldn't escape.

Yet, amidst the chaos, there were moments of triumph. One such instance was the joint purchase, with Paul Barber, of the racehorse Denman for his mother—an investment that turned out to be one of the best of his life. From early victories at Wincanton, where Denman defeated Victor Darnall's Karanja by an impressive 16 lengths, it was clear that the horse was destined for greatness.

Harry's conviction that Denman would clinch the Cheltenham Gold Cup manifested in persistent bets whenever the opportunity arose. On February 10, 2006, at Bangor-on-Dee, Denman faced little opposition after the withdrawal of Black Jack Ketchum due to an overnight frost. Priced at 1/12f, Findlay wagered a staggering £360,000 to win £33,000, declaring it the "easiest money" he ever earned.

The moniker "The Tank" was bestowed upon Denman during his early days, particularly after a race at Exeter where he demonstrated remarkable resilience. Despite a stumble that saw him plough through four feet of birch, Denman not only landed on his feet but also maintained pace with his opponent. Findlay, lowering his binoculars, exclaimed, 'F*** me, he's a tank.'

This proclamation proved prophetic as Denman went on to fulfill Findlay's ambitions by winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 2008, cementing his status as a true racing legend.

Photo: J.Coote (2023) 

What Was The Connection Between Dave Nevison and Eddie Fremantle?

What Was The Connection Between Dave Nevison and Eddie Fremantle?
I've delved into Dave Nevison's book, "A Bloody Good Winner: Life as a Professional Gambler," and despite its initial publication in June 2008, I've revisited its pages multiple times. In the realm of sarcasm, I assure you, I'm not a slow reader. Rather, periodic revisits allow me to gauge my progress as a gambler through the insights of Mr. Nevison. Though 15 years have passed, the foundational principles of gambling, from a philosophical standpoint, appear relatively unchanged.

Nevison's narrative takes us back to the early days of his professional punting career in 1993, transitioning from a high-stakes foreign currency trader in the City to the windswept racecourses, a shift as drastic as poles apart. The learning curve was steep, and by all accounts, a challenging pill to swallow. He often yearned for the leisurely years when financial constraints were a distant concern.

In those initial years, Nevison grappled not only with the challenges but also realized that his approach was awry. Adhering to traditional gambling methods, he focused on a couple of promising bets per card, staking straight up. While successful bets brought rewards, losses prompted him to chase, a scenario he found undesirable, especially facing the journey back to Kent with empty pockets.

His fortunes took a turn when he encountered Eddie 'The Shoe' Fremantle, a figure whose professional gambling success was marked by a distinct approach to identifying value bets. Unlike Nevison, Fremantle formulated his own odds for each horse in a race, comparing them to the bookmakers' odds. If his odds suggested value, even if significantly different from the bookies', he seized the opportunity. Nevison had a revelation upon learning this approach and regretted not discovering it earlier. From that day forward, he adopted the practice, establishing his own tissue prices and, as the accounts suggest, never looked back.

This strategic shift enabled Nevison to maximize his engagement with race cards, betting on every race. Additionally, it facilitated a balanced distribution of funds among bookmakers, with some winning while others might lose—a vital component in securing bets consistently.

"A Bloody Good Winner" not only captivates with humor and high-stake adventures but also serves as a valuable learning resource. Nevison's candid portrayal of his early setbacks and willingness to acknowledge mistakes set the book apart. He credits Eddie Fremantle for unveiling the key to successful professional gambling. Nevison holds Fremantle in high regard, contrasting him favorably with other professional gamblers of the time, whom he criticizes for not backing their words with significant bets or playing with sums that barely cover living costs.

The narrative underscores that success in gambling is a journey of trial and error, a life of hard knocks. Nevison, like many, embraced it not as a mere pursuit but as a professional ambition—one he pursued admirably.

Photo: J.Coote (2023) 

Remembering the Legendary Professional Gambler: Simon ‘Dodger’ McCartney

Over the past few weeks, I've delved into several books chronicling the lives of professional gamblers. From the exhilarating A Bloody Good Winner by Dave Nevison to the gripping Gambling For Life by Harry Findlay, these tales paint a vivid picture of the tumultuous journey of those who make a living through betting. Larger-than-life characters, these men share stories of placing astonishing five and six-figure bets as if money were going out of style.

While Nevison and Findlay may be extroverts, the realm of professional gamblers encompasses a diverse range of characters. Some are quietly spoken, knowledgeable, and introverted. Simon ‘Dodger’ McCartney, a professional gambler I recently discovered, falls into this latter category. Although I can't confirm if he perfectly fits this description, I'm certain he would have regaled us with remarkable stories.

My introduction to McCartney came through a piece by racing journalist Brian Lee, published in the Western Mail under the title ‘The Dodger Lives On In Legend As Much-Loved Pro Punter.’ The moniker 'Dodger' originated from McCartney's knack for slipping through bustling crowds to place his bets at National Hunt courses across the country.

Lee fondly shared insights from his 30-year friendship with McCartney, one of a dozen pros navigating the National Hunt circuit. McCartney, whose love for horse racing was inherited from his bookmaker father, left no National Hunt racecourse untouched. Driving 1000 miles a week from his Gloucestershire home, he was a fixture at courses nationwide.

Initially betting on greyhounds at London tracks, McCartney transitioned to jump racing, having been involved in the sport since the age of 16. Hereford held a special place in his heart due to its lovely atmosphere and friendly people.

In a candid moment about his gambling philosophy, McCartney revealed his aversion to each-way bets, preferring to place his money on two horses in a race if the odds were right. A cool-headed gambler, he would cheer on his chosen steeds with a collected "come on, my son" as they cleared the last jump.

Respected on the racecourse, McCartney enjoyed a positive rapport with owners, jockeys, and trainers who sought his opinion. Never one to seek tips, his word and character were trusted. Tragically, McCartney's life was cut short in 2002 at the age of 69 in a road traffic accident, shortly after recovering from throat cancer.

His funeral in North London drew 150 mourners from the racing community, including prominent figures. Nick Gaselee, describing McCartney as one of National Hunt racing’s greatest characters, highlighted his warmth, wit, and lifelong passion for racing. McCartney's success in gambling was evident in his lifestyle, from owning an E-Type Jaguar to a Ferrari and homes in Hampstead and Epping Forest. At his peak, he bet £6,000 a week, yielding a profit of £400.

In the words of Gaselee, McCartney represented all that is good, fair, honest, fun, and amusing in the world of racing, offering a stark contrast to the negative press surrounding gambling in the sport. 

Simon ‘Dodger’ McCartney's legacy lives on, a testament to his passion and love for National Hunt racing.

He is, indeed, sadly missed.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

A Major Wager Gone Wrong

A Major Wager Gone Wrong
If you've been around our sport for any length of time the odds are that you've encountered some terrible and painful beats. Yes, it does come with the territory but why must the tough losses always occur by the slimmest of whiskers and always for big money? It's like the racing gods know when we bet heavily and get a good laugh as they have their way with us.

I'm also sure most of us have wagered a tad more than we had planned to during an outing and that usually doesn't work out well either.

This is a true story about a young man's first large wager and the perfect storm that he encountered while navigating the treacherous waters of putting down a four-figure bet.

Let the humbling begin.

The year was 1982 and that would make me 22 years old. I'd like to say I was a quiet and humble sort but at that time I was the exact opposite. I was full of piss and vinegar, vim and vigor, and a few other substances.

I was in between jobs and hitting Belmont Park every day. I had recently discovered that you weren't required to bet on every race and that sitting out contests where you didn't have a strong opinion could produce great dividends.

My new system involved handicapping the entire card and then coming up with my two best bets of the day. If they were 3/1 or better at post time, I'd play them progressively across the board (1st, 2nd, and 3rd).

My daily bets of $20 to win, $40 to place, and $60 to show had made me over $100 a day for the last dozen racing days, just betting two horses a card. If the horse was less than 3/1 at post time, there would be no wager.

It was tough sitting out races and waiting for your horse to run but this system was proven and with the help of my new and exciting friends at the racetrack bar, I suffered through killing the time.

I got my paperwork ready and went through my normal routine before I left the house for the 17.6-mile ride to Belmont, in Elmont NY.

I had my $1,200 in previous winnings stashed under a large Conch shell on a bookcase. I'd normally peel off three hundred and put the rest back and then add to the wad when I got home. But on this day, as I pulled the wad out of the shell, it fell on the floor. I picked it up, looked in the mirror, and for some reason did a little dance while stuffing all $1,200 in my pocket. I remember thinking, "I'll take it just in case I see a good thing and today might be the day. "

I was all charged up and arrived at the track two races before my first runner. I spent an hour or two in the bar and was very excited for my first plunge of the day. 

But my excitement turned to disappointment when my 3/1 morning line favorite opened at 9/5 in the first flash on the tote. He never went any higher than 2/1 but he did win easily. I thought of the $1,200 just sitting idle in my pocket and shook my head. 

I had to kill time for another few races before my next wager and can safely say I spent way too long in the pub. The more I drank the more I loved my next horse. If I remember correctly, his name was Duplex, or at least that was part of his name. He was from Brazil and had done great things in Group 1 races. He had only lost once in ten outings over there and only had one start in the States where he ran dead last. This would be his second start in the US and his first run at Belmont. I felt he was primed and loaded, he'd love the track and I might get a price because of his last poor effort.

I carefully watched the tote board and with 5 minutes to post, I contemplated my options. 

I somehow felt the track owed me for hanging around all day and making me drink too much beer.

I knew this horse would win and it seemed stupid to put down $120 to only win $100 when I could put down $1,200 and make a grand. It seemed like a simple and rational decision, minus the alcohol.

It was set. I would put the wad down on Duplex at odds of 7/2.

As I made my way to the window, I was a mess. I dropped the money on the floor twice and hit my head on the way up. I had trouble getting out the words but I was somehow able to leave the window with a single ticket that read: $200 win, $400 place, $600 show on #6, Duplex.

With a minute left, I made my way to my perch outside near the 1/8 pole. My stomach felt queasy, I was sweating a bit and I felt like I had to go to the bathroom but they were already at the gate, so I couldn't.

My horse broke well enough and was sitting on the outside in fourth as two leaders slugged it out on the front end just as I had predicted. My plan was when these two speedballs backed up, Duplex would come storming past them and win easily. But when the horses appeared in front of me after straightening out on the turn, the two front runners still looked tough and weren't backing up as I had thought. Nonetheless, Duplex was roaring home in the middle of the racetrack, and looked like he was getting to them. After the field roared past me, my view of the finish wasn't the best but it sure looked like he got up on the far outside. If he didn't win, I was sure he ran second and if I was blind, he still got third. I ran inside to see the replay on the monitor and it showed four horses on the line bobbing up and down, and it was a lot closer than I thought. They were heads and noses apart but so far spread apart from one another, that you couldn't tell who won. The replay that was no help seemed to go on forever but they eventually posted the results. Duplex had run fourth. I would find out the next day that Duplex was officially a head, a neck, and a nose from all the marbles.

All I could do was hope for an inquiry but of course, there was none.

I felt awful and headed to the bathroom in a daze and total shock. The people walking by seemed distorted and looked like they were walking in slow motion, just like the race replay I watched 20 times. 

When I got to the bathroom, I realized I didn't have to go anymore but splashed some water on my face to wake up for what would be a very long and depressing ride home. As I dried my hands and looked in the mirror I started to cry a little but I stopped when an old guy came in whistling.

He stopped when he saw me drying my eyes. "C'mon, son. It can't be that bad, he said."

"Oh yeah, mister, it's bad. It's really freaking bad," I said as I showed him the ticket.

"$1,200 on one horse," he said while shaking his head. "What the hell were you thinking boy?"

He grabbed my shoulders, looked me in the eye, and said, "Here's what you're gonna do. That race happened a million years ago. There is nothing you can do about it now and you need to forget all about it." He fumbled around his pockets for a bit and came out with a $5 bill. "Here take this," he said, as he stuffed the fin in my top pocket behind my cigarettes. "Get yourself a donut and a cup of coffee on the way home and when you get there forget this day ever happened."

"I couldn't, pal. I just lost $1,200," I said. "I can't take your money but thank you."

"I insist," he said. Please take it. I promise it'll make us both feel better."

I took his $5 and his advice, at least the part about coffee and a donut but I couldn't forget about that race. A million "what ifs" are still in my mind to this day and it's just one of those beats that stay with you forever.

I arrived home sad but got even sadder when I looked at the empty overturned shell that once housed $1,200 less than six hours ago. There would be no dancing in front of the mirror with a wad of cash today and there would be no track outing tomorrow.

Although it should've happened much sooner, it was at this exact moment in time that I realized and fully learned that big bets were surely not for me. It certainly seemed to take all the fun out of horse racing and also took a tremendous toll on the mind, body, and spirit.

And although I think of that day on occasion, and then quickly try to forget about it, I think of that nice man much more often. He went out of his way to try to help soften the blow of a devastating stupid move made by a young nitwit at the racetrack. He didn't know me from a hole in the wall and I never saw him before either. We never even got each other's names but he will be my hero forever.

Author: Peter Monaco

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Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Unveiling the Enigmatic World of Professional Gambling: Alex Bird and His Revelations

Unveiling the Enigmatic World of Professional Gambling: Alex Bird and His Revelations
In the clandestine world of high-stakes gambling, where luck meets strategy, the name Alex Bird resonates with an air of mystique. Renowned for his enigmatic presence and success in the high-octane world of professional gambling: "The Life and Secrets of a Professional Gambler," published in 1986 by TBS The Book Service Ltd has emerged as a beacon, shedding light on the veiled universe of risk, reward, and calculated chance.

Bird, a luminary figure in the gambling realm, is a revered professional with an illustrious history, marked by extraordinary wins and an elusive public profile. His book, a rare glimpse into the intricacies of the gambling profession, is a treasure trove for enthusiasts and aspiring players seeking insight into the strategies and mindset of a successful gambler.

"The Life and Secrets of a Professional Gambler" offers a gripping narrative, chronicling Bird's personal journey from an amateur enthusiast to a seasoned professional. Unveiling the cloak of secrecy that shrouds the gambling elite, Bird shares anecdotes, strategies, and the psychological nuances that have fueled his success.

The book isn't merely a recounting of wins and losses but an exploration of the mindset required to navigate the unpredictable landscape of gambling. Bird delves into the emotional resilience, strategic foresight, and calculated risk-taking that defines the professional gambler's modus operandi. His emphasis on discipline, probability assessment, and bankroll management underscores the importance of methodical approaches over impulsive whims.

Apart from divulging his personal experiences, Bird's book is a treasure trove of strategic insights. He dissects games of chance, offering readers a peek into the analytical methodologies he employs to sway the odds in his favor. His elucidation of game theory, risk assessment, and the significance of information asymmetry provides a holistic understanding of the intricate art of gambling.

Moreover, Bird delves into the psychological dynamics at play, shedding light on the critical role of emotional control, intuition, and reading opponents in the context of poker and other games of skill. His emphasis on patience, composure, and adaptability serves as a guiding principle for both novices and seasoned gamblers.

The allure of Bird's book lies not just in its revelations but in the inspirational undercurrent that runs through his narrative. It offers a glimpse of a world where strategic acumen meets unwavering resolve, where success isn't merely a product of chance but a result of calculated precision and unwavering determination.

Despite the allure of the book and its insights, it's essential to remember that gambling, by its nature, involves risk. Bird's success story and the wisdom shared within his book should be approached with a discerning eye and an understanding of the potential pitfalls that come with the territory.

"The Life and Secrets of a Professional Gambler" stands as a testament to Bird's triumphs, offering an invaluable reservoir of wisdom for those intrigued by the world of professional gambling.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Is Gambling A Sin?

The question of whether gambling is a sin has been a topic of debate among religious communities for centuries. Some people believe that gambling is inherently wrong, while others see it as a harmless pastime. There is no clear consensus on this issue, and opinions often depend on individual beliefs and cultural norms.

For some religious groups, gambling is considered a sin because it is seen as a form of vice or immorality. This perspective is based on the belief that gambling is inherently risky, and that participating in such activities can lead to harm, both to oneself and others. For example, excessive gambling can result in financial problems, as well as negative impacts on relationships and personal well-being. Additionally, some religious communities view gambling as a form of theft, as it involves taking money from others through luck or chance.

Other religious communities have a more permissive view of gambling, seeing it as a form of entertainment or leisure activity. This perspective is based on the belief that gambling is not inherently sinful, but rather that it is the individual's intentions and actions that determine whether or not it is a sin. For example, if gambling is done in moderation and without causing harm to oneself or others, it may not be seen as a sin.

Additionally, some religious communities argue that gambling can be a legitimate form of recreation, as long as it is done in a responsible and ethical manner.

Despite these differing views, there are common themes in the arguments against gambling as a sin. For example, many religious communities argue that gambling is a form of waste, as it involves spending money on activities that have little to no value. Additionally, many argue that gambling is a form of addiction, and that it can lead to negative consequences such as financial problems and relationship difficulties.

On the other hand, some people argue that gambling is not a sin because it is a form of free choice. This perspective is based on the belief that individuals have the right to make their own decisions about how they spend their time and money, as long as they are not causing harm to others. Additionally, some people argue that gambling can be a form of economic activity, providing jobs and generating revenue for communities.

In conclusion, the question of whether gambling is a sin is a complex and controversial issue, and opinions on this matter often depend on individual beliefs and cultural norms. While some religious communities view gambling as a sin, others see it as a harmless form of entertainment or recreation. Ultimately, the decision on whether or not gambling is a sin is a personal one, and depends on one's own beliefs, values, and ethical considerations.

Luxurious Las Vegas: The Top Hotels for a Lavish Stay

Las Vegas is a city renowned for its opulence and extravagance, and when it comes to accommodation, it's no different. From world-class casinos to dazzling entertainment options, just like best ca online casinos, the city offers an abundance of luxury experiences. In this article, we'll explore the most luxurious hotels in Las Vegas where you can indulge in a lavish stay.

The Bellagio:

The Bellagio is an iconic Las Vegas hotel that exudes luxury and sophistication. Known for its elegant Italian-inspired architecture and stunning fountains, this resort offers impeccable service and accommodations. The rooms are adorned with sumptuous furnishings and feature breathtaking views of the Strip or the Bellagio's famous fountain show. The Bellagio is also home to Michelin-starred restaurants, a luxurious spa, and high-end designer boutiques.

The Wynn Las Vegas:

The Wynn Las Vegas is synonymous with luxury and elegance and an option to betting online at which is by far the cheapest alternative to any brick-and-mortar casino. This resort is a haven for those seeking a lavish stay in Las Vegas. The hotel boasts spacious and exquisitely designed rooms and suites, some with panoramic views of the city. The Wynn also offers a private golf course, an upscale shopping esplanade, and a range of fine dining options, including the renowned SW Steakhouse. 

The Venetian:

The Venetian transports guests to the romantic streets of Venice with its stunning architecture and canals. The resort features spacious suites, many with separate living areas and Italian marble bathrooms. The Venetian is also home to the Grand Canal Shoppes, an indoor shopping mall with a wide selection of luxury brands. For those looking to relax, the Canyon Ranch Spa offers a variety of wellness treatments.

 The Encore at Wynn Las Vegas:

Adjacent to the Wynn, the Encore is an extension of its sister property but with a unique sense of luxury. The Encore offers upscale rooms and suites, each elegantly appointed with modern decor. Guests can enjoy the exclusive Encore Beach Club, a vibrant poolside venue, or dine at the award-winning Sinatra restaurant. The Encore also houses the XS Nightclub, one of the hottest nightlife spots in Las Vegas.

The ARIA Resort & Casino:

The ARIA Resort & Casino offers a modern and sleek luxury experience in the heart of the Strip. The resort features cutting-edge technology, including in-room tablets that control everything from lighting to curtains. ARIA boasts a variety of fine dining restaurants, including the acclaimed Joël Robuchon, and the ARIA Sky Suites offer an even more exclusive experience with personalized butler service.

The Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas:

For a more intimate and refined luxury experience, the Four Seasons Hotel Las Vegas is an excellent choice. Located within the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino complex, this oasis offers a peaceful retreat from the bustling Strip. The Four Seasons provides spacious rooms, an elegant pool area, and exceptional service. Guests can also enjoy access to Mandalay Bay's amenities, including its famous wave pool.

In conclusion, Las Vegas offers an array of luxurious hotels where guests can indulge in opulence and pampering. Whether you're looking for Italian-inspired elegance at the Bellagio, the modern sophistication of the ARIA, or the Venetian's Venetian charm, these hotels promise an unforgettable and lavish stay in the Entertainment Capital of the World. So, if you're seeking the ultimate luxury experience, Las Vegas has the accommodations to make your stay truly exceptional.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

The Eventful Journey of Two Horseplayers: The Perfect Day

The eventful journey of two horse players: The perfect day
The severe drive and dedication of a horse player to catch a live race should never be underestimated. We juggle our schedules and perhaps do things we wouldn't normally do, just for some action.

This is a 100% true story about the perilous journey of two young horse players who set out on a mission on a snowy winter's day in New York to seek their fame and fortune at the racetrack.

The Epic Journey Begins.

I had been on about a dozen excursions to Aqueduct and Belmont Park by the time I attended seventh grade at St. William the Abbot Catholic School, in Seaford, NY.

But all those outings were with my grandfather and I always wondered what it would be like to go to the track unsupervised.

One day on the playground I was yapping about my vast racetrack experience and a fellow student suggested we cut out of school the very next day and hitchhike the 20 miles to Aqueduct. 

I accepted the offer and we met up early the next morning to try to make the first race post time at 12:30 p.m.

This was a super cool and exciting idea but it wasn't planned out very well at all.

We had no food or water, no coats, hats, gloves, or even a sweater, We hadn't thought of bringing a change of clothes, so we were in completely goofy-looking Catholic school attire. And to complicate matters it was starting to hail and snow and we were wet and cold before we even started out to walk to the highway to put our thumbs out.

To give you a glimpse of how delusional two 13-year-olds can be, my friend and I each had six dollars to travel a 40-mile round trip in the snow and attend a full day at the races. We seriously thought we had plenty of money.

We walked and hitchhiked for the first hour but had no takers and we encountered countless setbacks.

We had to stop hitchhiking every time we passed a police car, or one passed us. We also ran into several crazy people, loose and aggressive dogs, and a few mothers who wanted to know why we were hitchhiking in a snowstorm and not in school. 

Our perfectly ironed white shirts and maroon pants were fully splattered from the snow/mud mush combination, courtesy of the passing trucks, cars, and buses. Some drivers even tried to splash us on purpose.

Two hours after we set out, we were picked up by a very nice man with a very warm car who was quite entertained by our quest and decided to drive us right up to the gate at Aqueduct.

As my friend and I approached the entrance we were quite disappointed when we realized it was $2 to get in. This would eliminate a third of our bankroll and was not a feasible choice. While discussing our options, we noticed a well-placed tree about 1/8 mile past the finish line and just on the other side of the track apron. We climbed the tree, hopped the fence, and tried to blend in among the crowd.

But two baby-faced, guilty-looking 13-year-olds in Catholic uniforms certainly drew some unneeded attention. There were finger-pointing and whispers but nobody actually questioned us.

We had missed the first race but had plenty of time for the second. We pulled a program out of the garbage discarded by an early loser and studied it.

We both settled on a horse named Elegant Disguise, who would be ridden by Larry Adams. He was the only jockey I knew of at the time and my grandfather said he always brought home some big prices. Elegant Disguise was listed in the program at 30/1 in a six-horse field. The odds fluctuated a bit but he was exactly 30/1 at post time.

We made our way to the window and after a combination of frowns, smirks, and eventually a laugh from the teller, he printed out two $2 win tickets on the number six horse. 

We were ecstatic that we had overcome such a rough journey and held our tickets up and cheered each other as the horses loaded. 

But our joy was short-lived, as our horse reared and was dead last around the first turn. But like a script from a Hollywood movie, the horse started advancing on the far outside and into contention. As the field hit the stretch, the front runners tired and Larry Adams and Elegant Disguise blew by them at the eighth pole to get up by a length. We were jumping up and down and could hardly contain ourselves.

The horse paid $62.80 and we collected our money without even thinking to tip the teller who let us bet illegally.

As I scraped the change off the counter, I said, "Hey, thanks, buddy!" 

"Thanks don't pay the pills, shithead," he replied. "Don't you idiots ever come to my window again or I'll beat you with him," as he pointed to each of us. We didn't put it together that he wanted a tip until after we arrived home.

In addition to our $62.80, we still had $4 from our original $6 wad and decided our mission was accomplished.

The weather had gotten much worse and there was talk of canceling the remaining races, so we headed home.

It was a long and tough journey making it the 20 miles back to Seaford in the bad weather but we both made it home safe, sound, cold, and wet with $66 sweetly tucked away in our socks.

We never got busted by our parents and blamed the mud-covered uniforms on a school bus, which wasn't exactly a lie.

It was the best day ever but little did I know it would be slightly bittersweet. At 13 years old, we felt we had conquered the rigors of NYC as well as the world of horse racing, all from one good day at the track. We would be hooked forever by the intense action of horse racing and the ambiance of the racetrack in general.

We laughed at all the stupid people going to work in the morning at regular jobs. Our plan was to become professional horse players after graduating 8th grade elementary school the very next year and there would be no need to attend jr. high, high school, or college. We thought we would never have to work because we possessed special knowledge that no other mortal human knew. We thought we were gifted.

That day happened over 50 years ago and my friend and I are now 63 years old. We were extremely wrong about the work thing and being gifted and we have both been employed our entire lives. But we've also played the horses throughout the journey and have no regrets.

Some have stated that this winning day was the worst thing that ever could have happened and that we would become degenerate gamblers for life and never own a quarter. There surely could be a small amount of truth to that opinion but my friend and I still think it was the perfect day.

Author: Peter Monaco

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

UK TV Personalities Who Enjoy a Flutter: Balancing Fame and Gambling

UK TV Personalities Who Enjoy a Flutter: Balancing Fame and Gambling

The UK has a rich history of television personalities who have made a name for themselves in the entertainment industry. Some of these personalities, however, have been known to enjoy the thrill of gambling in their personal lives. In this article, we will explore some of the UK TV personalities who have a penchant for gambling and the potential challenges that come with this dual lifestyle.

Piers Morgan

Piers Morgan, a prominent TV presenter and journalist, is known for his love of gambling. He has openly discussed his fondness for poker and sports betting, often sharing his betting exploits on social media. While Morgan's gambling habits have not caused any significant public issues, his openness about his love for wagering has sparked discussions on the influence such high-profile figures may have on the public's attitude towards gambling.

Jeremy Kyle

Jeremy Kyle, best known for hosting "The Jeremy Kyle Show," is another TV personality who has had a public association with gambling. In 2009, he publicly discussed his gambling addiction, which had a significant impact on his personal life and finances. Kyle's struggles with gambling addiction brought attention to the need for responsible gambling and the support available for those facing similar challenges.

Chris Kamara

Chris Kamara, a former footballer turned TV presenter, is known for his enthusiasm and love for sports. He is also an avid horse racing enthusiast and has shared his passion for the sport with the public. While Kamara's love for gambling has not resulted in any notable problems, it highlights the connection between sports and betting, as well as the potential influence of public figures on gambling behavior.
Challenges of TV Personalities Who Gamble

Influence on Viewers

The high-profile status of TV personalities can inadvertently influence their viewers' behaviors and attitudes. When well-known figures openly discuss their gambling activities, it may normalize the behavior, potentially encouraging viewers to participate without fully understanding the risks involved. This influence underscores the importance of responsible gambling messaging and public figures' responsibility in promoting it.

Privacy and Scrutiny

TV personalities often find themselves under intense public scrutiny. When they openly discuss their gambling habits, it can expose them to judgment and criticism from the public and the media. This scrutiny can affect their personal lives and professional image, making it crucial for celebrities to be mindful of the potential consequences of discussing their gambling activities.

Risk of Addiction

While gambling can be a recreational activity for many, it also carries the risk of addiction. TV personalities, like anyone else, can struggle with gambling addiction. Their high income and access to resources may mask their financial troubles, making it essential for them to seek help when needed and promote the message that addiction can affect anyone.

Responsible Gambling Advocacy

TV personalities who enjoy gambling should also use their platform to promote responsible gambling practices. This includes highlighting the risks, advocating for self-exclusion programs, and encouraging viewers to seek help if they believe they have a gambling problem.


The world of UK television is full of charismatic and influential personalities who entertain and connect with millions of viewers. Some of these personalities have a penchant for gambling, and while it can be a personal interest, it is essential for them to recognize the potential influence they have on the public and the importance of responsible gambling practices.

Balancing fame and gambling can be challenging, but it can also serve as an opportunity for TV personalities to set a positive example for their viewers. By openly discussing the challenges they face, advocating for responsible gambling, and seeking help if needed, these figures can help promote a healthier gambling culture and ensure that their love for the thrill doesn't lead to negative consequences for themselves or their fans.

Photo: Pixabay (free)

The Psychology of Successful Gambling

The Psychology of Successful Gambling

Gambling has been a part of human culture for centuries, with a wide range of games and activities that offer the promise of winning money or prizes. While many people engage in gambling for entertainment, others see it as a way to make a profit. Successful gambling, however, is not merely a game of chance; it is a complex interplay of psychology, strategy, and self-control. In this article, we will delve into the psychology behind successful gambling and explore the factors that contribute to it.

Understanding Risk Perception

One of the fundamental aspects of successful gambling is the ability to accurately perceive and manage risk. Most gamblers tend to overestimate their chances of winning, a cognitive bias known as the optimism bias. Successful gamblers, on the other hand, have a more realistic understanding of the odds and are less prone to this bias. They carefully assess the risks involved in each wager and make informed decisions based on probability and statistics rather than gut feelings.

Emotional Control

Emotional control is another critical element of successful gambling. The highs and lows of gambling can trigger intense emotions, such as excitement, frustration, and anxiety. Successful gamblers are adept at managing these emotions and making rational decisions even in the face of losses. They understand that chasing losses or making impulsive bets when emotionally charged can lead to further financial setbacks.

Bankroll Management.

A key psychological trait of successful gamblers is their ability to manage their bankroll effectively. They set clear limits on how much money they are willing to wager and stick to those limits. This discipline prevents them from risking more than they can afford to lose and ensures that they can continue gambling over the long term. Successful gamblers also understand the concept of expected value, which helps them make bets that are statistically favorable in the long run.

Skill Development

While luck plays a role in gambling, successful gamblers recognize the importance of skill development. Whether it's poker, sports betting, or blackjack, they invest time in learning the rules, strategies, and nuances of their chosen game. This dedication to skill development gives them a competitive edge and increases their chances of success. 

Patience and Discipline

Patience and discipline are virtues that successful gamblers hold in high regard. They are not driven by the desire for quick and massive wins but instead focus on making consistent, well-calculated bets. They understand that gambling is a marathon, not a sprint, and that staying disciplined and patient can lead to more substantial profits over time.

Risk-Reward Assessment

Successful gamblers are skilled at assessing the risk-reward ratio of each bet. They look for opportunities where the potential rewards outweigh the risks involved. This means avoiding bets with unfavorable odds and seeking out bets with a positive expected value. They are willing to pass on bets that don't meet their criteria, even if it means sitting out on some opportunities.


Self-awareness is a crucial aspect of successful gambling. Successful gamblers are honest with themselves about their strengths and weaknesses. They recognize when they are on a winning streak and when it's time to cut their losses. They also know when to take breaks to prevent burnout and maintain a clear state of mind.


The psychology of successful gambling involves a combination of risk perception, emotional control, bankroll management, skill development, patience, discipline, risk-reward assessment, and self-awareness. Successful gamblers do not rely solely on luck; instead, they use their understanding of these psychological principles to make informed decisions and increase their chances of winning in the long run. While gambling always carries an element of risk, those who approach it with a strategic and psychologically sound mindset are more likely to achieve success in the world of wagering.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

A Casino Conman: Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Tommy Glenn Carmichael is a notorious casino conman who is best known for his cheating techniques in slot machines. He is considered one of the most successful slot machine cheats in history, having used his ingenuity and technical expertise to cheat casinos out of millions of dollars.

Carmichael was born in Louisiana in the 1950s and first began cheating slot machines in the late 1970s. He quickly became known for his creative and innovative cheating techniques, which involved using tools such as wires, drills, and even small cameras to manipulate the machines. He would spend hours studying the inner workings of slot machines, and once he had figured out how to cheat them, he would often use his knowledge to train others in the art of slot machine cheating.

One of Carmichael's most famous tricks was the "slider" or "monkey paw". This was a device that he would insert into the coin hopper of a slot machine, which would trigger the machine to pay out coins. He would then collect the coins, and repeat the process as many times as he could before the machine was caught. He also used other devices such as the "light wand", which was a small light source that he would use to blind the machine's sensor, causing it to pay out coins.

Carmichael's cheating was eventually discovered by casino security, and he was arrested several times. Despite this, he continued to cheat slot machines and was eventually caught again in 1998. He was sentenced to five years in federal prison and was banned from entering casinos for life. Despite his criminal history, Carmichael's reputation as a casino conman has earned him a certain level of infamy in the gambling world. Some people view him as a genius who used his technical skills and creativity to outsmart the casinos, while others see him as a thief who stole from innocent people. Regardless of how one views Carmichael, there is no denying that he was a master of his craft, and that his cheating techniques have had a significant impact on the world of gambling.

In recent years, Carmichael has turned his attention to the development of anti-cheating technologies for slot machines. He has worked with casino manufacturers and security firms to help them design and develop new security measures that are more difficult for cheats to penetrate. This has helped to reduce the amount of cheating that takes place in casinos and has made it more difficult for cheats like Carmichael to succeed.

In conclusion, Tommy Glenn Carmichael was a notorious casino conman who used his technical expertise and creativity to cheat slot machines for millions of dollars. Despite his criminal history, he is remembered for his innovative cheating techniques and his impact on the world of gambling. Today, he works to prevent cheating in casinos by developing anti-cheating technologies for slot machines. While some may view him as a genius, others see him as a thief, but there is no denying that he was a master of his craft, and that his legacy will live on in the world of gambling.

Madame Mustache: The Daring Gambler and Gambling Hall Owner of the Gold Rush Era

Madame Mustache: The Daring Gambler and Gambling Hall Owner of the Gold Rush Era
In the annals of American history, the Gold Rush era of the 19th century is synonymous with tales of daring adventurers, rugged prospectors, and opportunistic entrepreneurs. Yet, among these stories of grit and determination, one name stands out as a symbol of audacity and unapologetic defiance - Madame Mustache. She was a remarkable woman who defied societal norms and made a name for herself as a formidable gambler and gambling hall owner during the tumultuous Gold Rush era.

Born in 1824 as Mary Ellen Pleasant in the slave state of Georgia, her early years were marked by hardship and struggle. She endured slavery, but her spirit remained unbroken. At the age of 10, Mary Ellen was freed and moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, where she received an education and began working as a domestic servant. Her life took an unexpected turn when she married James W. Smith, a wealthy merchant who introduced her to the world of high society.

It was during this time that Mary Ellen Pleasant began her transformation into the enigmatic figure known as Madame Mustache. She moved to San Francisco during the Gold Rush of 1849, and the city was bustling with opportunity and lawlessness. The Gold Rush brought a diverse array of people to the West, and Madame Mustache was quick to recognize the potential in the chaos.

Madame Mustache opened her first gambling establishment, and it quickly became renowned for its opulence and elegance. Her establishment, the "Cottage," was not just a gambling hall; it was a sanctuary of sophistication and class in a city defined by chaos. The Cottage attracted miners, businessmen, and high society alike, who were drawn to the allure of the lady with the signature mustache.

What set Madame Mustache apart from her contemporaries was her indomitable spirit and her remarkable skill at the card table. She was a shrewd and cunning gambler, known for her impeccable poker face and her ability to read her opponents like an open book. Her cunning earned her the respect of both her peers and her competitors, and she quickly established herself as one of the most successful gamblers in the West.

However, Madame Mustache was not content with simply being a skilled gambler. She saw opportunities beyond the poker table and invested her winnings wisely. She became a real estate mogul, purchasing valuable properties throughout San Francisco. Her financial acumen and shrewd business sense were instrumental in securing her legacy.

Madame Mustache was also a prominent figure in the abolitionist movement. She used her wealth and influence to support the Underground Railroad, helping escaped slaves find freedom in the West. Her dedication to the cause of freedom earned her the nickname "Black City Hall" for her pivotal role in influencing the political landscape of San Francisco.

In a time when women were expected to adhere to rigid social norms, Madame Mustache defied convention at every turn. Her extravagant lifestyle, her success in the male-dominated world of gambling, and her fearless pursuit of justice for the oppressed made her a legendary figure of her era.

Madame Mustache's life was filled with ups and downs, and she faced her fair share of controversy and legal battles. Yet, she remained unapologetically herself until the end. She passed away in 1904, leaving behind a legacy that continues to captivate and inspire. Her story is a testament to the indomitable human spirit and the enduring power of those who dare to challenge the status quo.

In the annals of history, Madame Mustache's name is etched in gold, a symbol of resilience, audacity, and the unyielding pursuit of dreams, no matter how unconventional they may be. She will forever be remembered as the daring gambler and gambling hall owner who defied the odds and carved her own path in the wild and untamed West.

Photo: Pixabay (free) 

Black Jake: The Legendary Professional Gambler of the Gold Rush Era

Black Jake: The Legendary Professional Gambler of the Gold Rush Era
The Gold Rush era of the 19th century in the American West was a time of opportunity, lawlessness, and extraordinary stories. Amidst the chaos and dreams of striking it rich, a figure emerged whose name became synonymous with professional gambling and cunning skill – Black Jake. This enigmatic character, whose real name remains shrouded in mystery, etched a unique legacy during the Gold Rush era, leaving an indelible mark on the annals of American history.

Black Jake's origins are veiled in obscurity, adding to the allure of his legend. He was believed to have been born in Kentucky around 1820, but historical records are scant when it comes to his early life. What is clear, however, is that he was a man of remarkable talent and charisma who leveraged the tumultuous Gold Rush era to his advantage.

While many flocked to California in 1849 in pursuit of gold, Black Jake soon realized that he could accumulate a fortune through a different path – exploiting the vices and aspirations of his fellow fortune seekers. His reputation as a professional gambler quickly gained traction, and he embarked on a journey that would see him rise to infamy.

Black Jake's prowess at the gaming tables was unmatched. He possessed an uncanny ability to manipulate cards, read his opponents, and calculate odds with astounding accuracy. His poker face was legendary, and he seemed to possess an almost mystical ability to predict the next card that would be dealt. These skills consistently allowed him to walk away from gambling tables with hefty winnings, earning the respect and envy of his peers.

However, Black Jake's allure extended beyond his gambling acumen. He was known for his charm, quick wit, and magnetic personality. His ability to beguile his way into high-stakes games was unparalleled, often pitting him against the wealthiest and most influential figures of his time. His silver tongue and charismatic demeanor could coax even the most prudent gamblers into reckless bets, making him a force to be reckoned with.

Black Jake's reputation as a professional gambler soared, and he became a fixture in the saloons and gambling halls of California. He frequented cities like San Francisco and Sacramento, as well as the numerous mining camps scattered across the Gold Rush landscape. His name became synonymous with high-stakes gambling, and he was both feared and admired for his unmatched skills.

One of the most legendary tales associated with Black Jake revolves around a marathon poker game against Leland Stanford, a prominent California millionaire who would later become the state's governor and the founder of Stanford University. The game reportedly spanned several days, with fortunes seesawing between the two players. In the end, it was Black Jake who emerged victorious, solidifying his status as a formidable gambler.

Despite his remarkable success, Black Jake's life was not without its share of turmoil. His involvement in the shady world of professional gambling often led to confrontations with lawmen and rival gamblers. His mysterious persona added an air of danger to his legend, and he was often on the run, evading trouble and seeking new opportunities in the ever-expanding frontier of the American West.

In the annals of the Gold Rush era, Black Jake remains an enduring enigma – a professional gambler whose exploits captivated the imaginations of those who heard his tales. His legacy serves as a testament to the allure of the American West during a time of both great fortune and great risk, and his name will forever be etched in the history of the Gold Rush era.

Photo: Pixabay (free)