Silk. Smooth as Silk…….

by Ed Meyer

posted on June 2, 2011 in General Discussion | 1 Comment >>

Ace Up the SleeveIn every walk of life there are folks who can make our skin crawl, or intrigue the hell out of us. I have known both kinds, and the race track offers some of the most colorful characters in gambling.

David - He dressed to the nines and lived in a pay-by-the week hotel. His brother was a rider at Finger Lakes, and his younger brother was as hustling a gent as he. David never drove, and was either seen thumbing a ride, or securing himself a way. He was always looking for “the score.” It didn’t matter if it was a pencil, all that he wanted was to make something. He made his way as a middle man for bookies, and other sorts who did not want to cash I.R.S tickets.  He was always touting horses in hopes you would get a big score and remember him kindly. I once saw Dave give out six different horses in the same race. When he looked up and saw me watching, he never blinked an eye. When he walked past me all that he said was “the cost of doing business, my man.”  He never paid a tab, and when you were cheering for your horse on top by 10, you can bet David was not far from you patting your back, and screaming louder.

The Whale - This gent is no longer with us, but he was a target of every good con man in the track. He loved to win, but couldn’t cash a place ticket in a match race. He was as tight as the hinges on hell, and I never saw him give up a dime except to one man. I once gave him 12 winning pro and college games that covered the spread. I told him one that lost by a point, and he never stopped talking about it. He never said thanks, but expected the world to fall at his feet. They did, and he loved it… Hence, “to the victor goes the spoils.”

The Spive - I wrote about him long ago, and to this day he was the king 0f cool. He could make ice seem hot, and you never caught him sleeping. The best Gin player, and a man who could remember a card from ten years ago in a back room for a penny a point. Spive looked and lived the way of the fast move and hypnotic con. He could make you put up money, and beg to cut him in. Or he would make up a huge ticket and watch you go to the windows. He played only a couple people, and that was only because he didn’t have to play many. What he did was done right. He took care of his wife and children very well, and hustled til the day he died. He was style personified, and never was at a loss for a word.  The best advice he ever gave out was to my brother. He was yammering on about a loss that he could do nothing about, and Spive looked over with his cool lingo and spouted out; ” save your breath kid, you’ll live ten years longer.” I miss this guy as he was what every gambling movie is missing. A real life good guy who was as smooth as glass in the springtime. Once in a lifetime he said, “You’ll meet a guy like me once in a lifetime.” To this day, he was right …….

One Response to “Silk. Smooth as Silk…….”

  1. Dave says:

    Is that it? You leave us wanting more. Love the underside as well as the glamour. Keep it coming or write a book.

    Golf and horses have the greatest gambling stories.

    One of my favorite golf ones, my friend is a low handicapper playing in a high stakes member-guest in CT, where a 20k Calcutta is at stake. His team is in sudden death and sitting pretty when some unknown wise-guy steps up and advises he should miss the shot. While the money he could win was large, he did not have much invested. He proceeded to dunk his approach into the marsh and losing his ball and save himself a broken arm.

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