Saturday, February 19, 2011

Mixing pleasure with business

The Most Expensive Movie I Ever Watched

Last year on this blog I had written an article about Pittsburgh Phil, the legendary gambler, and had also listed some of his time-tested nuggets of wisdom.

Alas, yesterday I ignored one of them and paid a very heavy price--not only for me alone, but also for my clients for whom I handle betting.

I am sharing this story not to redboard about a huge-priced winner, but just to highlight an unpardonable mistake which I hope not to repeat, and also hope my readers will be forewarned should they find themselves in similar situation.

Pittsburgh Phil had said that a professional gambler should NEVER divide his attention between horses and women.

I did precisely that, and for a very flimsy and inexcusable reason.

The power (electricity) in our area had gone off yesterday noon, and was not restored for over an hour. I had no serious bets on yesterday's Bangalore card except two or three chance bets. So when my wife asked me if I could take her out to a movie because she was getting bored at home (no TV because of power failure), I thought why not, I could always place my chance bets with a bookie on the phone or ask a friend in Bangalore to bet on the Tote there.

By the time we reached movie hall at 3 pm to watch Hindi movie 'Saat Khoon Maaf', two of my three chance bets had already lost, and the last one was in the last race at 5.30 pm.

The movie took charge right from the start, and Priyanka Chopra (woman again!) unleashed an enthralling performance. During the interval, I set up alarm on my phone for 5.20 pm, ten minutes before race time. The alarm vibrated on time, but a very gripping scene was going on, so I thought what the hell, I will go out after five minutes to make the call. I was so engrossed that I when I looked at my watch later, it was already 5.35 pm!

I ran out of the movie hall. Thinking that the race must have got over, I called the bookie, but his phone was engaged. So I called another friend of mine, he said the race was delayed but would start any moment. Since he has other couple of phones, I told him to immediately call someone in the Mumbai ring and bet Rs 5,000 on #4 Spark Of Isis for win at whatever odds he gets. In extreme hurry, without inquiring with more bookies, he just about managed to place my bet with the first bookie he could contact, at the price the bookie quoted, which was 12 to 1.

After the race he informed me my horse had won, and I was very happy for ending the day with a good-priced winner. However, another friend who knew I was going to back Spark Of Isis called me some minutes later, and congratulated for hitting a winner that paid over Rs 1,200 for win on Bangalore tote and over 16-1 for place!

My joy turned into pain. It's impossible being philosophical about it, especially when you are handling other people's money, who, for no fault of theirs, were deprived of huge profits because the man they entrusted with the handling of their bets tried to divide his attention between women and horses!


  1. Sir Aapke saat khoon Maaf.....but humara....7no modernart humhra khoon kardiya...

  2. Start Finoo every march in mumbai... it will kill the rest of the mumbai season.

  3. That was Horror flick.


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