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Apart form its current publications, John Blake Publishing has a sizeable back list of acclaimed sporting titles. These include biographies of stars such as Roger Federer, WG Grace, Fernando Torres and Frankie Dettori. For more information, visit www.blake.co.uk



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Life's a Gamble by Roy

Release date: 26th February, 2009
Publisher: Bantam Press

List Price: £12.99
Our Price: £9.09
You Save: £3.9 (30%)
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Coming from a long line of punting almost-rans, great things weren't supposed to be on the cards for Roy Brindley. Uncles, aunts, grandparents and even his own father all formed an orderly queue of less than successful antecedents when it came to gambling. If anything, Roy was marked out for a whiter than white role on the abstemious side of life. We jest of course.

In a witty and well paced book, Roy The Boy bounds along at pace, fondly recalling betting stories. Some people signpost their lives by jobs, which pub they used to frequent or the girl they were seeing at the time. Roy's abiding memories are the stuff of a turf accountant's dreams. His earliest flutter was backing Southampton to beat Manchester United in the FA Cup final of '76. The outsider's price of 5/1 was a handsome win giving Roy his first pay day and paving the way for a lifelong love of odds.

"Life's a gamble" could almost be a slice of Nick Hornby fiction, tinted with some gritty Tony Parsons-like realism. More flight of fancy than autobiographical, it's character and geniality draw you in and scatter a sense of romanticism about the place. This is growing up in a gentler time, yet Brindley's formative years were only three decades ago. There's something dewy eyed about the way he paints the characters and events in this book and the rush that winning gives him is unashamed.

We've often alluded to the seminal poker film "Rounders" and the movie was a turning point for Roy. It helped take him from mediocre punter to Roy "The Boy" Brindley, High Priest of the poker table who gleefully shares with us the joy of his discovery.


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