My Old Bookie Almost Ruined My Life

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I’ve written enough about gambling on this site to get myself audited. I’m not sure if I can call myself an expert, but I’ve hit more spreads than Precious has buffet lines. A lot of the comments I get regarding my wager placing degeneracy center around my current refusal to use a bookie, and, while I have several examples of why to avoid these scumbags who exist on every college campus, here is my magnum opus of why I opt for the murky waters of offshore legality, as opposed to my local bookmaker.

Setting: I’m a junior in college and fresh off of a Bovada withdrawal that took 26 days and several bizarre conversations regarding my “external wire transfer” when I realized it was time to look for an alternative. Our chapter was devoted to Bovada since the Bodog days, but was also friendly with some AEPi kids that had “a guy,” but who also ran some semblance of their own book on campus.

The AEPi book was really small-time, though. $50 dollar wager limits, $250 dollar credit lines, etc. Nowhere near the rush a full-on addict like me required every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (MACtion) and Thursday of football season, so I went with their “guy” who handled the bigger players.

At first, everything was going well. The kid was in law school, which, in hindsight, was an absolutely insane thing to be doing for a guy months from the Bar exam. But he paid me in full two of the first three weeks, and I did the same when I lost, so things seemed to work well. This was, from what I could tell, a far better option than the endless online withdrawal delays of the internet.

By November, I was in the midst of an epic hot streak, at one point hitting 9 consecutive bets and quadrupling my bank roll. After every big win, as I realized the funds of my new bookie were finite, I would text him asking if I should discontinue playing, and if he was comfortable accepting more wagers, as is protocol with the bookie-gambler relationship.

Every time, he said no problem. “We have an extremely deep bank roll, bro.” Ok, fine. But after the weekend, when he had only paid me a quarter of my balance, saying, “We’re dealing with collection issues with some kids that are way down,” I started to get a little nervous and drastically reduced my play.

Fast forward three weeks and more bitter tweets than fat girls live tweeting the Victoria’s Secret fashion show, and I hadn’t received another dollar. My “deep bank roll” of a bookie had gone completely AWOL, leaving me with my dick in my hand trying to finance purchases impulsively made in the midst of my heater.

Then I got the call:

“Hello?” The number was not in my phone.

“Is this Siblings of Mark Wahlberg?”

I wasn’t sure how to answer. Fuck, I hope I didn’t bang this guy’s girlfriend or sister.

“Who’s asking?”

“My name is Anonymous from the Anonymous Police Department. We understand you may be involved in an illegal gambling and money laundering operation and would like to speak with you.”

My heart almost fell out of my asshole.

“I’m sorry, what?”

“We’ve been in touch with the administration of your university, as it seems much of the contact between the parties involved took place on campus.”

My parents are going to fucking murder me.

“I’m sorry, I’m not interested in speaking with anyone until I’ve contacted my attorney and consulted with my parents regarding this matter.”

The guy gave me his information, hung up, and I was left considering whether my bedroom window opened wide enough for a 19-story swan dive, when I decided I needed to handle this myself.

I did a little research and realized nobody in American history has been persecuted for solely making bets, only for running and operating the book itself. So from a legal standpoint, I wasn’t that worried. However, the school has an immense amount of autonomy in dealing with basically everything (refer to Grutter v. Bollinger if you don’t believe me), so I was still panicked realizing my father would shove a foot up my ass farther than anything I’d be raped with in prison if I was expelled.

I immediately deleted all the texts we’d exchanged and blocked my bookie’s number like a sorority girl that just got dumped. I spent days researching the student conduct manual preparing for my eventual hearing, staring at my phone incessantly praying the number will never call again. I wasn’t sleeping, and would stare at the dark ceiling for hours playing out the nightmarish explanation I’d have to give my family if something came of this.

But it never came. Three weeks or so had passed and finally I was returning to normal, assuming the book had been shut down and the university had moved on. I got home from class with a fifth, my Thursday night ritual for college/pro games before I’d hit the bar, when I saw my roommate leaving.

“Where are you going? The college game kicks off in a half hour.”

He’s putting his coat on.

“Gotta go meet Anonymous, got fucking killed last weekend.”

“Wait, you bet with my old bookie?”

He pauses.

“You use him too?”

At this point, I’m fucking befuddled.

“Until he got shut down, yeah…”

“Shut down? No man, I don’t think so. I’ve only been with him a few weeks, but he hasn’t said anything.”

Three weeks later, up almost 2k, my roommate burst into my room unexpectedly like a premature ejaculation.

“Siblings, I’m so fucking fucked, man. I just got a call from the Anonymous Police Department about my fucking gambling account”

Fucking scumbags.

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