The Perfect Punter: A Year of Losing Everything and Trying to Win It All Back

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Bloomsbury Publishing, Feb 16, 2012 - Games - 288 pages
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Dave Farrar was like most other gamblers. Fairly low stakes and fascinated by sport, he loved taking on the bookies. And he'd got to a point where he'd started to win more than he lost. He'd started to believe that he had gambling worked out. But then it all went wrong.

Dave's brief downward spiral came about because the girl he thought he was going to marry walked out on him without explaining why. And he chased her, and waited for her, but still nothing happened. The days got harder to fill and so he needed something to hide behind. He chose not alcohol or drugs but punting. He embarked on an ill-disciplined, stupid, losing streak that cost him a five-figure sum and left him deciding that he was done with punting forever.

But, as he started to get over the fact that the girl wasn't coming back, he realised that he missed the gambler that he used to be. In fact, he wasn't going to give up without a fight. But this time, he was going to do it right.

Dave would delve into the detail of every sporting event he'd lost money on and make sure that, whenever he placed a bet in the future, he would know more about it than anyone else, including the bookmakers. He would travel around the world and follow the sporting calendar, meeting experts in each field who could help him get to the bottom of every event so he might work out what would happen next. He was determined to learn as much about the sporting process as he possibly could, and emerge from the other side of the journey having won back every penny that he'd lost. The story takes in major sporting events such as the US Masters golf and the FIFA World Cup, the Cheltenham Festival and the Ashes, as well as less-visited sporting corners of the world: Ligue 2 in France, Eastern Europe for boxing and Italy for cycling's Giro.

You don't have to be a gambler to enjoy Dave's story, just someone who knows a little bit about making mistakes and wants to know a lot more about sport.

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About the author (2012)

Dave Farrar is a commentator and writer, covering football for ESPN and boxing for Channel 5 as well as working in horse racing, golf and cricket. The Perfect Punter is his first book.

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