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ales of Team Carborundum
1st July 2001
Jesse May
Jesse May, multiple author in the gambling field and sometimes dubded the "voice of poker", writes a bi-weekly column.
Most people know Jesse as "the voice of poker" from his colourful commentary in CH4's late Night Poker. Jesse is also the author of the widely respected novel, Shut Up And Deal, which looks deep into the poker playing life. Its the hard faced 21st Century Cincinnati Kid.

Jesse is also the creator of The Gambler's Guide to the World, an insiders look at the action and games around the world.
Email : Jesse May
    Losing streaks are funny things. And if you’re a gambler you’re gonna spend about half your time in the midst of one, so you better get used to them. If you’re really really good, you might cut that figure down to 25%. That’s if you’re great. If you’re the best that ever was, you might only have to spend 25% of your time giving it away, just emptying your pockets like you’re Kerry Packer. That’s still a lot of losing to get used to. And as a gambler, that’s where you usually make most of your money. When you’re losing. How you’re losing.

Now one thing’s for certain is that there’s a lot of ways to lose. There’s the guys who show no emotion. The stone faced lip curlers who can swallow a one outer with one brief shudder, the pain goes down inside like they’re flipping back a tequila shot. That stuff comes back to haunt you, you can only leave the gas on for so long before somebody strikes a match. There’s the berserk maniacs, we’ve seen them in action, who throw cards, dishes, and verbal taunts in one giant belch up of a losing fit. They don’t exactly make the most pleasant dinner companions.

The logical way to deal with a losing streak is to figure out what you’re doing wrong. The scary thing to do is to consider it bad luck. Whipsaw Greg says to the Man Magee, “Man, I’ve been losing too long now. What am I doing wrong?”

Man Magee looks Greg straight in the eye and says, “Greg, everything is fine. It’s just bad luck.”

“But Man, that’s the worst thing,” says Whipsaw Greg, “Because, I think I’m cursed!” And that’s the irony of the losing gambler. If you’re doing nothing wrong, then it’s entirely possible that you might be cursed.

Now into the second week of Wimbledon, two things are clear. One thing is that John McEnroe is the best sports commentator currently in broadcasting. The other thing is that the sixteen gentlemen left in the gentleman’s draw are the sixteen big time players who entered this tournament. Something’s happened to the courts this year, and Wimbledon is a shot maker’s tournament. The shots are the aces, the touch volleys, the lobs, and the back hand crosscourts that hit the chalk. The image is of Lleyton Hewitt getting a one hundred thirty mile an hour serve back across the net, and three impossible recoveries later turning the point into a winner.

The major matches, the matchups everyone’s rooting for, the tennis that will have you glued to your seat with a ramrod spine are, in the upper half of the draw, Henman beating Sampras and Rusedski beating Ivanivesic to lead to the all British Henman versus Rusedski semifinal, which could go five sets, with a 22-20 game frame in the fifth. In the lower half of the draw, Agassi versus Hewitt is the greatest matchup so far this millenium, Agassi will be a slight but not overwhelming favorite. The final should include a Briton, and the home crowd advantage will be deafening, the tabloids cranked up to a fever pitch, John McEnroe on the box twenty-four hours a day.

Blue Square Odds ( have broken new ground by opening up a betting market on the European Poker Championships, to be contested beginning the seventh of July at Victoria Casino in London. The event is 2000 pound buy-in, and with the field limited to 130 runners Blue Square is actually offering some competitve value. And for punters who fancy their chances in playing, Blue Square is offering some better odds on their money than they’ll get for winning the thing. Swissman Hans Pfister just beat thirty of the best players in Europe when he won the Superbowl in Dublin in April, so at 66/1 he’s far from unfair, and if playing he’ll likely be sourly strapped in there at the end. Mickey Finn taught survival techniques to a whole legion of European poker players, but he’s still the Master when it comes to hanging around in a No Limit Hold’em tournament. With ¼ odds first four places, it’s hard to see him not being value each way at 50/1. The Irish mob has been spotted by the bookmakers, Betson, Parkinson, Flood, and Magee all in at 20/1 or less. Some fool has been talking about them too much, because the secret is out about the Irish playing No Limit Hold’em.

It’s good to see Blue Square entering the sport, even if the maximum bet is a modest $100, it’s the most competitive poker book since Bet-Ex ran a book several years ago on the Superbowl in Dublin that proved disastrous because of then unknown Hendon Mobster Ram Vaswani. Poker tournaments are a great betting sport. In addition to outright markets, I can see group betting options or head to head matchups evaluated on total performance over a week or several months. Team Carborundum is thinking about Barney Boatman because he’s so underrated, and a men’s Wimbledon final of Andre Agassi versus Tim Henman, because you can only get what you want if you ask for it.
Editor's note

Only bet ante-post on the poker tournaments if you know your fancied player will definitely compete as you will otherwise lose your money. European Championship Odds