Do you go on more romantic dinner dates with your bookie than your wife? Sounds like you could be in a toxic relationship with your bookmaker
Does your bookmaker call you ‘mate’ and pat the ‘special chair’ when you walk into a betting shop? Do they do a “Gregg’s Pastry Run” when they see you?
Are they nice to you on the phone, even AFTER you have given them your login details?
While we can’t make you win, drawing the lines in the sand could start you off on the road to victory.
Here’s our guide to spotting the signs of a toxic bookmaker relationship and turning your situation around.
People think you’re a Couple
If the relationship has gone beyond giving you £5 betting vouchers and has moved on to candlelit suppers at exclusive London restaurants two or three times per week then things are getting serious.
You may mistake your bookmaker’s friendliness in taking you out to meals and whisking you away on holidays as warm generosity.
While there is nothing wrong with starting a romantic relationship, you may wish to question their motives.
But, just remember exactly who has paid for all this stuff: you did! Remember, when you backed all those even-money shots they told you couldn’t get beat over their in-house TV channel.
Beware Bookmakers Bearing Gifts
“Timeo bookmakeis bastardes et dona ferentes” – IfVirgil wrote his Aeneid (II, 49) today, he would definitely have warned us about bookmakers bearing gifts.
VIP bikini babe yacht parties, Platinum racecourse boxes or a free hamburger with every bet = you’ve lost a lot of cash.
Get as far away as possible and splash yourself down with holy water.
‘Mate’, ‘pal’, ‘my darling’ are signs you are your bookmaker’s personal cash machine. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but if your bookmaker smiles when you appear and can’t do enough for you, there might be a problem.
If you don’t want to be a customer who pays your bookmaker’s mortgage or sends bookie kids to private school, recalibrate the relationship. Make a start by calling them names of common vermin, (‘weasel’, ‘rat’, ‘cockroach’) – progress to ‘turd’ after a few weeks.
They call you up ‘for the fun of it’
Feelings are alien to bookmakers, so if you get a telephone call from your VIP account manager ‘just to see if you are alright’, it probably means you haven’t bet with them for 6 hours or so and they need more cash – right now.
Tell them you’re busy, or ‘washing your hair’ for the next fortnight.
Toxic relationships can happen to anyone, but if you have a warm, fuzzy feeling about the people who rip you off you’re doing something wrong. Your bookmaker is someone you should want to avoid in the street, not scrub you down in a sauna.
When they ask ‘same time tomorrow?’ after you’ve lost wads of cash, tell them you’d rather eat the contents of your hoover bag – a threat you’re prepared to follow through.
When you get home put their picture on a dartboard.
Always Saying ‘Yes’
A sign your bookmaker thinks you are a total mug is when you can get on any bet you ask for.
Ask friends or other gamblers if they have been knocked back and try to get your money on those selections. They’ll be calling you a c*nt and sweeping you out with the garbage in no time.
How to Deal with Losing Runs
Professional Layabout Ricky Tibbs gives practical advice for how to deal with losing runs.
A lot of you have written in asking me how to deal with losing runs. “How do you deal with losing runs that go on forever Ricky?” Mavis from Cork asked.
There’s nothing better than the times in your life where you just can’t stop winning, where even the traffic warden smiles and tells you ‘I haven’t put the ticket in the system, please drive on’ or a blob of bird sh*t lands on a bookmaker’s car. But how do you deal with really bad losing runs?
Here are some tips and hints that might help you out in the aftermath of a horrendous betting patch. Regular emailer Dave from Dagenham reminded me of a few lines from the poem ‘If’:
Keeping Your Head
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss
If you’re wondering how to deal with losing runs you’ve probably reached the point where you risked everything on ‘one turn of pitch-and-toss’. Is that an arcade game? Anyway, my specialist advice is all down to how you save cash after a horrendous betting patch.
Keeping your head when all about you are losing theirs? Kipling clearly never blew his last monkey on a second favourite in a Class 6 at Chelmsford; certainly not one that tailed off last anyway.
We’ve all been there having to start again at our beginnings, well and truly done our bollocks and there’s no more betting for a while. A strategy for getting about and finding food for the next week is much more helpful than poetry.
Transport: Bin Lorry Bonanza
For transport, getting about might be difficult if you’ve blown all your cash. Taxis and buses are a definite no-no so try to ride on the back of bin lorries. If you live out of town, they always stop every now and then so it’s really easy to get into a city centre for free.
It’s a good idea to know which day of the week they pop into your area. Mine is on a Thursday. Of course, you are at the mercy of the bin lorry man if he decides to see a friend 16 miles out of town – via the motorway.
If this happens, simply ‘roll off’ the back of the lorry when he stops and say you got ‘caught up in the mechanism’. Trust me this always works. Chances are you will be invited into his friend’s house for a pat down and a cup of tea – maybe even a hot shower.
This week I tried the hotel lobby plan. Hotel lobbies are my favourite. What could go wrong?
It’s important on a terrible losing run when money is tight to have up to five hotels in different ends of town.
Whatever you do don’t use a hotel that is directly next door to the one you are currently scrounging from because most of the porters meet up in the same betting shops.
Definitely, don’t pick a hotel near to where you live either because they may even know you.
It’s amazing how easy it is to walk into a hotel lobby: walk in, sit down, maybe pull out a laptop, or start pretending to write an email on your phone. So that’s what I did. No one will question anyone doing ‘serious’ work.
By ‘serious work’ I mean talking about emails and meetings. That’s all work really is – emails and meetings:
“Did you get the email?”
“No, what was it about?”
“Will we need a meeting about the meeting?”
“What about a meeting about the email after the meeting which we’ve all been emailed about?
“You’ve lost me. Just send an email.”
Where was I? A pretend phone conversation peppered with mentions of emails and meetings always swoons the pretentious waiters. A knowing wink to accompany the mention of ‘emails and meetings’, followed by a brief look to the sky, is particularly good on mothers looking for a prospective son-in-law. If nothing it gives off the correct ‘importance’ vibes, as opposed to ‘f*cking freeloading scrounger’ vibes.
You should definitely pick up one of the free papers in the racks. There’s always a Racing Post behind the counter if some other scrounger with an identical plan hasn’t beat you to it. Look around; you will be able to spot them: the other 1%’ers. They will look you straight in the eye, worrying whether they will get caught. Bloody scroungers!
Lunch: Tea Trolleys & Conference Rooms
Sit there long enough and hotel people will give you tea, coffee, orange juice or water with lemon in it. If they don’t, you should ask for one to be added to your tab; everyone has tabs. If you don’t have a tab you might end up looking like a scrounger.
However, if they ask how you want to pay, always say you are in ‘Room Two Hundred and…something’. Never say you are on the ground floor as this is only a short walk away from the lobby. If you were (or the person you are pretending to is) on the second floor, there’s always the issue of lifts and stairs, which will give a scrounger plenty of time to make a nonchalant getaway.
After an hour in this hotel lobby a suited chap walks over and says:
“Excuse me, sir…” (I’m ready for him to chuck me out).
“Can I get you a sandwich?” A sandwich! This plan is going well. Make sure you pop in around lunchtime. Usually, after a few days, they will have a plate of sandwiches saved for you.
Moreover you may be able to find a tea trolley with biscuits for the conference rooms. Take an empty satchel to fill up with sachets of custard creams or jam rings – they always stack boxes that have packs of three piled high.
If all else has failed and you have exhausted that group of friends generosity at mealtimes one too many times, or if they are pretending to be out (when really you can see them hiding behind the washing machine) or if you have ‘popped around’ too often to the local priest, drastic measures are needed.
Tony says it is always a good idea to volunteer to dish out the food down at the Homeless Shelter – they don’t know that you might be just as hungry as they are if you’ve done your money so badly that a trip to the supermarket is definitely off the cards.
In any case, you can help yourself to a meal under the guise of ‘testing out’ the food to ‘make sure it isn’t poisoned’. Explain to them that you might need to test the food several times just to make sure the poison isn’t slow to kick in.
Baths and Showers
If you’re feeling very adventurous try popping up the stairs in a hotel or if they have those annoying security cards, ‘glide’ in with another party who are just getting in the lift. Timing is absolutely essential.
If things are really bad and, for instance you need to save money on electricity and heating – some old hotels with no electronic key cards have lax security may well let you wander upstairs. Just say you’re looking ‘for John’. You might be able to run a bath.