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The Secret Life Of A Bookie

Not All the Big Bets Are on Wall Street
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
James Woods, May/Jun 97

(continued from page 17)

CA: How much would this guy normally bet on a game?
Pete: A few thousand a game.

CA: So, he comes in and he says, "Pete, I want to bet the Super Bowl."
Pete: I think it was Cincinnati and San Francisco, in '82.

CA: San Francisco was the favorite?
Pete: Yes, a point and a half.

CA: And he took?
Pete: He took plus one and a half with Cincinnati.

CA: And who won?
Pete: I did.

CA: What did you do when you got the bet?
Pete: First of all, let me interrupt; I apologize. In order to take that type of bet, I won't take it close to post time. Because I want the time to do what I want with it, and if you come in that close to post, I'll refuse it. But if you tell me a couple of days ahead of time, whatever you want you can have.

CA: So you spread it out?
Pete: Well, maybe, maybe not.

CA: Maybe you move the line, so you can move money to the other side.
Pete: Absolutely, it's all about money.

CA: Are there times when either the line has moved so much or you have so much on one side and so much on this side, that it doesn't matter who wins? You win the commission plus something significant?
Pete: That's correct.

CA: Are there many times when there's a push, when you're giving seven and the game is seven, and nobody wins?
Pete: It may be a push for certain customers, but if we raised the line, certain customers tie and certain customers lose or win.

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