The story of how Norman Leigh found his team — a process not much more arduous than screening astronauts for the flight to the moon — makes fascinating reading.
After what these 13 English people went through, it should be clear that there is no easy way to win money at casino gambling.
In fact, they might well have made more money than they did by working the same amount of time at their jobs at home.
But succeed they did, to the tune of more than $11,000 apiece in eight days of play at the municipal casino in Nice.
Of course, they are now barred from all French casinos for life, and it’s likely that if they or any similar team wandered into any gambling house in the world, it wouldn’t take the management very long to catch on to what they were up to and toss them out on their ears.
For no matter what they would have you believe, casino owners don’t like you when you win — at least not very much for very long.
Certainly, it’s permissible for a single individual to walk away on one night a hundred or even several thousand dollars ahead.
Most likely, he will lose that and more in subsequent sprees, trying to repeat his run of good luck. Even if he doesn’t – even if he’s that rare bird who picks up his winnings and never comes back – someone else will lose enough to more than cover the house’s loss.
Casinos don’t like to show this side of their personality. They don’t like to come out in public and and say, ‘You’re not welcome here when you win,’ but they will if they have to.
The truth, and every good gambler knows it, is that the casinos are in business only to take your money.
Their rules aren’t made by Nature or even by the legislature in most cases, and if you beat them too often, they’ll change the name of the game.
So how can professional gamblers make a living?
Most, of course, do not, and those who do don’t make it at the roulette table or the race track or even in poker games.
They make it by somehow coming out ahead in the extravagant private (and illegal) action that takes place behind closed doors, on telephones, and in the back rooms of bookmakers all across the country.
Those few professional gamblers who are honest now live in Nevada and most, like Jimmy the Greek, slide into something legitimate among other things, runs a successful public relations firm, conducts political polls for the likes of columnist Jack Anderson and is a regular on television sports shows.
You can tell from these occupations of a former gambler just what sorts of skills you need to get by in the twilight world where any future event or fact can be the cause of fortunes won and lost.