DEREK McGOVERN: HOW TO LEAD A BETTOR LIFE; You Just Can't Beat a Gambler

The Mirror (London, England), July 9, 2005 | Go to article overview

DEREK McGOVERN: HOW TO LEAD A BETTOR LIFE; You Just Can't Beat a Gambler


Byline: DEREK McGOVERN

WHEN my kids grow up I want them to gamble.

Not for a living, although I can think of numerous jobs worse than professional gambler. And not compulsively because I can think of few existences worse than addicted gambler, apart perhaps from bingo caller in a home for the deaf.

I just want my kids to gamble because in my experience the more likely you are to gamble the more likely you are to enjoy life.

The three most entertaining people I've ever met are all regular gamblers. The people whose company I am most likely to enjoy in a pub are invariably gamblers The people with whom I am most comfortable are almost without exception gamblers.

Don't get me wrong, not all gamblers have this joie de vivre. Just check out your nearest betting shop for living, Neanderthal proof. But where non-gamblers have merely a liking for life, gamblers have a lust.

It's true what they say - the next best thing to betting and winning is betting and losing.

Indeed all the most pithy sayings have their roots in gambling. For instance 'Tis better to have bet and lost than never to have bet at all.' And 'To bet or not to bet, that is the question.' And 'Don't get angry, get evens.'

Contrast those with 'A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush,' or 'Look before you leap,' or 'Ne'er cast a clout 'til May is out.' Those anthems of the prudent are so mundane.

It might surprise the more cautious among you but every one of us was a natural-born gambler. There we were all safe and cosy in the womb but the craic wasn't up to much. So every one of us, spying daylight, made a break for it.

We sacrificed the protection of the womb on the off-chance that there might be something better out there. And, with the exception of those from Manchester, the gamble paid off.

From then on much of life is about taking risks. At two we're told it will drop off if we keep playing with it. The cautious deprive themselves of the pleasure, the gamblers gamble that the warnings are bogus.

In teenage years we know we're nailed on with a girl but her mate is 10 times better looking. …

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DEREK McGOVERN: HOW TO LEAD A BETTOR LIFE; You Just Can't Beat a Gambler
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