The_Teache_Who_Gambled_4m

slot jackpot Terbesar - https://www.bookleafpub.in/profile/situs-bandar-togel-online-terpercaya/profile. MEMOIR MIGHT BITE: THE SECRET LIFE OF A GAMBLING ADDICT    (Bloomsbury £14.99, 256pp) Who doesn't like the odd flutter: ten quid on the Cup Final or a fiver each way on the ? That's how Patrick Foster started, too. By the time he finished a few years later, it was much more than a few quid. In 2018, as a young teacher turning 31, popular and with a lovely girlfriend and a warm, supportive family, Foster placed nearly £50,000 in a series of complicated bets on a horse called Might Bite, gambling that it would win the showpiece Cheltenham Gold Cup, the highlight of the National Hunt jumping season.

    (Image: [[|]])   Former professional cricketer Patrick Foster (pictured) gives a detailed account of his gambling addiction in a memoir 

Foster, a former professional cricketer at Northants, was at the time slowly suffocating under the weight of overwhelming gambling debts and exhausted by his betting addiction. He stood to win just over £200,000, which would allow him to pay off just some of his debts, mostly to parents of the pupils he taught. Foster watched the race in class as his pupils sat a mock entrance exam. Might Bite lost, beaten by Native River in one of the greatest races of all time. The game was up, and what had started with a few quid all those years ago ended with Foster standing on the platform at Slough Station waiting to throw himself under the non-stop London Express as it hurtled through.

 RELATED ARTICLES               Share this article Share   How it had come to this and what happened next is the subject of this mesmerising, superbly written story of despair, decline and redemption.

At his peak the year before, Foster had 76 accounts with online bookies and 65 different names. He was a VIP member of seven online operators: in most cases you had to be spending at least £30,000 a year to qualify. He had received close to £110,000 in free bets (gifts from bookies to encourage more betting). That year he had placed 27,988 bets with just one bookmaker — that's close to 77 bets a day. Over 12 years or so, he had bet £2 million online and about the same in betting shops and casinos. He loved betting on cricket, golf, football and rugby union, especially with British players and teams involved.

    (Image: [[|]])   Patrick supplemented his teacher's salary of £32,000 in increasingly desperate ways as the losses mounted (file image) 

But by the end he would bet on anything: from Hungarian handball to U.S. horse-racing, to Ecuadorian Under-23 football. Once he won nearly £20,000 on basketball despite not having heard of any of the teams, let alone players. As the losses mounted, he supplemented his teacher's salary of £32,000 in increasingly desperate ways. He had 23 bank, payday or unsecured loans. He borrowed from loan sharks and drug dealers, from the parents of his pupils, from colleagues, family and friends. Since his gambling began, he had borrowed a tick under half a million pounds. It all started so easily during his first term as a privileged Fresher at Durham University, when he popped into the local Coral betting shop with his mates. Knowing next to nothing about gambling, he fancied a quick spin on the online roulette wheel. He put the two £1 coins in his pocket on zero, the only number that is not red or black. A few seconds later the zero came up. It was, he says, ‘12 seconds that changed my life for ever'. Foster is searingly honest. He piles on weight as his drinking goes up. He can't sleep and is constantly hungover. Full of guilt and insecurity, he hides away. ‘My biggest issue was self-esteem,' he writes. ‘Those around me would have considered me arrogant and full of bravado. Behind closed doors I felt utterly worthless. I'd gone from being a professional cricketer to a debt-ridden gambling addict . . .'

    (Image: [[|]])   Patrick (pictured), who has had considerable therapy, is now happily married to Charlotte and is on good terms with his friends and colleagues

The only redeeming factor is his happiness with his girlfriend, Charlotte, a fellow teacher, but even this is a convenient shield. ‘Everyone saw me as a much happier person, but it was brilliant for keeping my gambling addiction a secret — other people ask fewer questions.' The gaps between suicidal thoughts shorten: he feels worthless in every way. In what I guess is an emotion common to many addicts, he feels totally alone. ‘I knew people who were open about their depression and anxiety, but I didn't know anyone else who had suffered what I was going through. By now borrowing tens of thousands from parents at school, on the say-so of a tipster he puts £10,000 on a horse called Dichato at Lingfield Park. It comes fourth. He finds out on a school trip and spends the time in tears with his jacket covering his face so the kids won't see. But the shame he feels with each act of debasement — borrowing and lying — leads to deeper folly.

    (Image: [[|]])   MIGHT BITE: THE SECRET LIFE OF A GAMBLING ADDICT by Patrick Foster, with Will Macpherson (Bloomsbury £14.99, 256pp)

He can barely get through a lesson without betting and plans his classes to guarantee a few minutes at his computer with the screen out of sight. In 2016, when his September pay cheque arrives, he gambles it away in a single day. But this is no lolloping misery memoir. It roars along with the pace of the train under which Foster thought of hurling himself. He's very likeable, sporty, good at his job and friendly, while riddled with this crippling secret vice. And he doesn't shirk responsibility either. At the end of the book he offers a series of ideas on how to help victims: better education, a ban on gambling with credit cards, effective treatment, banning VIP schemes and so on. But it's not going to be easy; the gambling industry is worth billions. ‘The bookie always wins' is the cliche and, like most cliches, it's true. In 2020, Britain's biggest salary, £421 million, was paid to the chief executive of Bet365. What saved Foster on that railway platform was a text message from his brother, saying he was not alone. These days, after considerable therapy, he and Charlotte are still together, happily married, and he is on good terms with his friends and colleagues. He now works for a consultancy dedicated to stopping problem gambling. There are 450,000 problem gamblers in the UK. Alarmingly, there are the same number of youngsters gambling every week, with 143,000 of them suffering gambling-related harm. Foster's compelling account comes garlanded with ringing endorsements from sporting heavyweights. ‘This book will stop you in your tracks,' says England cricketer Sam Billings. I couldn't agree more. It should be in the hands of anyone who has eyed a bet once too often.

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