No Easy Money: A Gambler's Diary, by Dave Nevison

Simon Redfern
Sunday 04 January 2009 01:00

Making £60,000 tax-free in six months sounds an attractive proposition, and Dave Nevison managed it last year, wagering on horses with the bookies and betting exchanges; a pity, then, that in the same period he also dropped £140,000 trying to win the big pots on the Tote.

He is unusual as a professional punter in that he actually goes to meetings rather than staying home hunched over a computer, and tends to have a go at most races on the card, often with multiple selections. It all sounds like bloody hard work to lose 80 grand, but believe it or not Nevison's system appears fundamentally sound – which is more than can be said for some of his nightclub exploits – and there is much here to amuse and enlighten punters and casual readers alike.

Nevison appears in '500 Greatest Gambles and Gamblers' (Highdown, £12.99), by Graham Sharpe, but No 1 spot goes to Terry Ramsden, a former stockbroker who contrived to lose about £100 million, and his liberty, in the Eighties. Still, who's to say the stock market is a safer bet than the Turf these days?

Published by Racing Post in hardback, £16.99

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