I was asked how I got to the position of Sports Book Manager at the Stardust when it was at its peak. It will take a novel, which I just may do sometime, but I will give you Part I in this column.
I was born in Steubenville, Ohio where gambling was a way of life. It may have been illegal, but it was a law no one enforced. I can remember on Sunday morning going down to the Smoke House or Tommy’s Lounge and see the police cars sitting on the side curb while they were putting their bets in on the NFL games.
I never gave it a second thought. I just loved sitting in the cigar stores in the "Ville" watching the guy rip the tickertape off the bubble gum-looking machine. In high school when everyone was thinking about what college they wanted to attend, I was booking numbers and shooting pool trying to get a bankroll together so my friend "Torch" and I could open our own book.
I never knew how "Torch" got that name. Anyway, at a young age I noticed that the guys taking the bets all drove caddies, while the ones making the bets drove beat up pickups and cars that barely ran. So the seed was planted, but little did I know at the time how it would come to be. I’ll elaborate more on that next week.
For now, let’s say there was no better place to grow up in the 50’s and 60’s than Steubenville. It was a bustling steel city with restaurants always packed, the three movie theaters packed and everyone had a job. The guys that ran the books would stand for no trouble, so there was little or no crime.
Dean Martin was the main guy and Steubenville is the place to be this week if you are a Dino fan. It is the annual Dean Martin Week with just a ton of stuff going on all over the city. One of my favorite spots, Naples, offers the best meatball and sausage on the heel you ever ate.
The food will be great all over the city and the shows that they put on are great. People come from all over the world and just have a super time. I just wish I could have been there as Dino was just great.
Swating some Nats
It seems like if you need money the place to go is Washington. You could have said that this past week, but I am not speaking of DC. Rather, it’s the Washington Nationals who beat the Yankees 2 of 3 and a 3-1 dog, then defeated the Blue Jays 2 of 3.
The Nats gave their supporters including myself a very nice profit, thank you. There were several other very good streaks in baseball last week. If you are a streak player as I am, there was some good money to be made betting on the Rockies who swept the Pirates and the Tigers who swept the Brewers.
More big winners were the Orioles sweeping the Phillies in Philadelphia all as a dog, the Cards sweeping the Royals and the Cubs sweeping the imploding Indians and the Giants sweeping the Rangers.
Stay with those streaks as it means $$$$$
This Saturday will be one of those hugely successful race comp giveaway days at Palace Station. Bet $20 at any track and get a drawing ticket for an assortment of great comps.
There will be drawings after every race at Hollywood Park. That Zack (Goldberg) is one crazy guy. Palace Station’s race and sports director just may be the Rodney Dangerfield of the industry.
"It’s a tough house," Goldberg said.
Question? Comment? E-mail me at: Richard Saber