The camel-coated brigade




The Swastika is the oldest cross and emblem in the world. Although not fully agreed upon, its origin is said to come from a combination of four ‘L’s standing for luck, light, love and life. 

It has been found in ancient Rome, excavations in Grecian cities, on Buddhist idols and on Chinese coins dated 315 B.C. Long before rabbit’s feet, horseshoes, leprechauns, black cats and four leaf clover’s, it was the most significant symbol of good fortune in the world. 

Yet due to historical events, of all the immediate thoughts we have as being synonymous with the swastika, that of good luck is far from the top of the list. 

As gamblers, we rely on many things, statistics, research, form, knowledge, brains, balls, even the infamous ‘stable whisper’. We construct databases and in-depth scientific analysis. We spend hours looking at weather, pitch dimensions, wind speed, form guides, ANYTHING which we feel will give us an advantage over the men in the camel coats. 

In an age where technology has put all of this information literally at our fingertips, it is perhaps understandable that anything other than attention to cold hard data, has been put on the back burner. 

I put it to you, the good people of BookieBusters, that in what I previously dubbed ‘the golden age of punting’, the most important tool in our armoury is in fact as old as time itself. 

What separates a good gambler from a bad gambler may well be his patience, his research, his know how, his ability to know when NOT to bet. However, what separates a GREAT gambler from a good gambler is quite simply good old fashioned luck. 

Why is it that the sporadic ‘little old man’ who picks all six winners on a wet Wednesday in Wetherby, and lands a roll-up the like of which we can only dream of, warrants little more than a couple of column inches in a red top? 

Why when a housewife dragged to Las Vegas by her husband, lands a fruit machine jackpot defeating odds of billions, or wins in the casino do we simply say “lucky cow”. Why every single week do we dismiss lottery winners who defeat what are essentially invisible odds, and actually have the audacity to call THEM “mugs, throwing their money away”. 


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Every single day on this planet gamblers everywhere are defeating phenomenal odds, not 3/1 trebles or even Yankees, people are getting the better of million even billion to one chances, and what do we do when we read about such incidences? We shake our heads, “tut” and turn the page. 

We live in a scientific world. Chemistry, physics, technology and mathematics dominate our culture. We have been taught to look at evidence, to believe fact, to embrace statistics. Yet we conveniently look the other way when phenomenal occurrences over turn statistics and science every single day. 

Now, not for one minute am I suggesting we all accost the nearest gypsy and relieve her of her supplies of ‘lucky heather’. Nor am I suggesting we all throw our hard earned believing that “It could be you”. I’m simply saying that we give should luck its due and acknowledge it when it comes our way. 

We’ve all had our fair share of last minute equalizers scuppering our coupons. We all have a hard luck story of a crossbar, a final fence, a sucker punch or whatever it may be ending our dream. Yet for every hard luck tale we’re all familiar with, there is the other side of the coin. 

The jackpot winner, the man who “just had a feeling” Dettori would ride six winners”, the mythical ‘gambling Mozart’ who is just born lucky. We mustn’t forget about luck fellas, we need to be aware of the significant part it plays in gambling and in life. Gambling isn’t all statistics and quantitative research. 

Look at today. You could have poured over statistics and form guides until you went blue in the face, But could you have foreseen a former Everton captain facing his old club as manager, armed with a veteran striker whose last major contribution to the F.A cup was 12 years ago.

Could you have predicted a last minute winner and romance every bit as unlikely as a lottery win or a multi million dollar fruit machine jackpot? Probably not. Take your luck as it comes fellas. You need it and I need it in this perpetual war against the camels. 

Bookies have access to the same statistics and form guides as we do, as well as employing people specifically to make sure even when WE win THEY do not lose. Don’t let science and mathematics tarnish our perceptions of luck, like history has tarnished our memory of the swastika. Stay lucky. 


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