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) 

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