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Simon Lane: Novelist whose life outdid his fiction

Simon Lane was one of those writers whose published oeuvre is only matched by the supreme fiction of their own existence, the mythic resonance of their travels and tribulations, those who boldly spin the text of their own legend daily, or more likely nightly. He was the absolute embodiment of the English gentleman-novelist in permanent exile, a self-described "drinker with a writing problem"; it was reassuring to know that in the most distant exotic corners of the world Lane would always be there, in an impeccably stained handmade suit, propping up some impossibly dangerous bar dispensing outrageous wit and wisdom.

Betfair shares valued at up to £14 each

Betfair is set to be valued at up to £1.5bn when it reaches the stock market, after the company's shares were given an initial range of between £11 and £14. The stakes of the betting exchanges' two founders Ed Wray and Andrew Black will be worth between £261m and £333m on that range.

Noseda stakes all on Cup with Laddies Poker Two

Having already pulled off one pretty outrageous stunt with the same mare, Jeremy Noseda yesterday contrived to raise the bar higher still with Laddies Poker Two. The Newmarket trainer wants to give the grey her first race since landing a spectacular gamble at Royal Ascot in June – and, as such, only her second in two years – at the Breeders' Cup.

Puccini - The maestro and a succès de scandale

Puccini's Wild West opera, La fanciulla del West, has a rare outing in Edinburgh. It is almost certainly based on his secret love affair that was mired in tragedy. Jessica Duchen went to his house in Tuscany to find out more

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Two tens equals £800,000

63-year-old former businessman from Las Vegas wins prestigious, and lucrative, poker event in London

The end of the road for Russia's roulette

From 1 July, all casinos and slot machine halls in Russia will be forced to close their doors. In their place will be four Las Vegas-style gambling zones across the country, but building work has yet to start