AUTHOR: James Dowen

Hit me a bit harder… And again

‘Icarus’ and ‘Houdini’ have broken into my mind.  Icarus has eaten my brain and is knawing at the back of my skull and Houdini is getting stuck into my spine, working from the top down.

This is a nuisance.

I have never known so many new punters to be floating around.  I don’t know if something is changing in the economy, or at least, a certain area of it.  Not just the usual old band of shire horses blagging a bit of credit but new and fresh faces from all over the place.

Two of the most fierce who have appeared are Icarus and Houdini.  The former flips cards around the green beiges of some of the West End’s most salubrious casinos, regularly for hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time.  He’s young too.  And he wants to attack the game.  Hungry for play, he only knows how to play for the absolute max.

Icarus loves action.  High bookings, high corners, high shirt numbers, you name it, Icarus is high-octane.  But what he loves more than anything else is goals, and lots of them.  In the last two months he has never flown so freely and close to the sun.  He’s caught the right wind and is winning a cool million…of my money.  For those who’s lives aren’t dominated by ‘Breaking News’ updates of utterly mindless whitter on Sky Sports News, I must inform you that this season, in the football, there have been more goals than ever before.  This started as grating.  Became trying.  And has now developed to a level of infuriation.  All I want is a few thrilling nil-nil’s.

Icarus has caught the ‘right zig’ (zig-zag) and connected the other night, on a match, to win £350k.  Our biggest ever loss on a match…  He’s got me ‘at it’ now, and I’m waiting for play.  I’m getting drawn in.  I’m checking results, even flicking over and watching the pain at times.  In short, he’s got me ‘involved’.  Not good.

Houdini is a different creature.  A high-achieving sportsman for many years, he has perfomed at the pinnacle of his trade for over a decade, gliding a football over and around the turf of some of the world’s most celebrated football stadiums.  I can’t comment on that area of his life.  I can comment on his mental focus though, and tell you that, when it comes to gambling, he’s got very serious, still, and heavy-weight bollocks, hanging off his body.

He goes out with a plan.  If it’s got FAV next to it’s name, Houdini’s on.  Name of the game: win £100k on the day.  Doesn’t matter if it’s on the first race of the day…or the last, when he’s been half a mill down, and blasted out,…that’s the rough gist of his modus operandi.

He’s fearless.  He’ll leave it late in the day before he turns the volume right up if he has to.  Oxygen and time are in short supply, but then suddenly, after all the right texts have been coming through, a string of winners on darts, foreign football, Irish horse favourites, and non-live football, he has dug up, will appear from nowhere…and the house has lost £100k+ again.  Houdini has kept slipping from my grasp and escaped with over £750k.  Painful.

We all trust in and nail our mast to different posts.  Mine is ‘figures’.  I ‘bet to figures’ and ‘faces’ and let ‘the bat do the work’.  That’s my style as a bookmaker.  I believe that eventually the numbers rule out and my ever protected percentage will appear.  My mettle is being tested now though…

I’m waiting for you gentleman.  I haven’t gone anywhere just yet.  I’ll bounce of the ropes a bit longer and play ‘rope-a-dope’ with you for a few more rounds.  Hit harder.  Again.  And again.  I fancy you’re going to run out of energy soon…fly a bit too close to the sun…or leave your dramatic exit just a little bit too late in the day…   I’m waiting…with my figures…


Still not tamed, quite.

Ben x