With NFL and college football just around the corner, my excitement triggered upgraded research in search of early gems. Just trying to stay one step ahead of the bookmaker, as always. Only, the bookies won’t let me have that step.
Several years ago I would meet with several people for dinner on Monday nights and we would take in the NFL game and have fun making the half time line. On several occasions, the legendary bettor and lines maker Bob Martin would be there. Now when Martin was there, dinner would always be a couple of hours late.
So, he enjoyed sitting at the bar, sipping a few cocktails and telling tails. One thing he said stuck with me over the years. I asked him what I needed to do to become a successful gambler. Bob looked me square in the eye without flinching and said "Richard my boy, behind every successful gambler is a rich woman."
Bob then went directly back to his drink and told more stories.
The past couple of weeks I have had many dealings with sports books as we get ready for the parlay card season. I have come to realize one thing and Bob just may have said it best. But, this time it deals Race and Sports book operations. Most of R&S directors couldn’t get things done if not for their Girl Friday. They may not be rich when it comes to money, but are some of the sharpest and brightest people I have had the pleasure to meet.
I just wanted to name a few, and give them the credit they deserve.
I just don’t know where Art Manteris at Station Casinos would be without his right hand Carolyn Evely. She just never gets riled and seems to get it all done.
Robert Walker at the Mirage would probably need three or four people to do the work his right arm Yolanda Acuna performs. Yoli, to her friends, just gets it done and is also a good dancer.
Down the street at Caesars Palace, the big man Chuck Esposito runs the show with great assistance from another wiz Kathy Bowman. I’ve known Kathy a long time and am amazed at how she always has a smile on her face. Her pat words are, "I will take care of it."
And, she does.
Jay Kornegay at the Las Vegas Hilton SuperBook is lucky to have his right arm Rosemary Rocco, who could probably run most big companies. By the way, the Hilton is having its big "Pick the Ponies" contest Aug. 18-20. This contest has a $500 entry fee, but you can get in for the early bird special $400 if you register before August 8. For more info, call 1-800-732-7117.
At Bally’s/Paris Las Vegas, John Avello did a great job running both spots — especially with all of his horse contests, Breeders Cup and Kentucky Derby futures. Mr. A, headed to Wynn, relied heavily on his main lady Criss Eggers. She managed all those contests in the most professional manner and is a credit to the industry. I wish her the best as Mr. Avello moves over to his new position.
By the way I didn’t want to snub the big horse contest coming up Aug. 5-6 at Ballys. Check my next column for info or just head over and pick up an entry form.
By the way it figures to be 70 degrees at Del Mar for opening day on Wednesday.